A Bisl Torah

I’ve Got a Golden Ticket

Winter break was spent introducing my children to my favorite childhood movies. We watched “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” and “Home Alone.” This week, my dad and I reveled in glee as the Guzik-Sherman children watched the original, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” And they loved it. Even with the scary oompa loompa songs…they loved it.
But I forgot about the character, Grandpa Joe. Grandpa Joe is seemingly bedridden until Charlie brings home one of Willy Wonka’s five golden tickets. Grandpa Joe holds the ticket in his hand, learns that Charlie needs a companion to the Chocolate Factory, and miraculously, his strength returns. Just like that. A magic switch. The ability to see light when previously he was immersed in the dark. And all of a sudden, Grandpa Joe begins to sing.
Here are some of the lyrics to Grandpa Joe’s song:
I never thought my life could be
Anything but catastrophe
But suddenly I begin to see
A bit of good luck for me
‘Cause I’ve got a golden ticket
I’ve got a golden twinkle in my eye
I never had a chance to shine
Never a happy song to sing
But suddenly half the world is mine
What an amazing thing
‘Cause I’ve got a golden ticket
The golden ticket was something tangible for Grandpa Joe to hold in his hands. But perhaps, the golden ticket was Charlie “asking” his Grandpa Joe to join him in his quest. Without Charlie requesting Grandpa Joe’s presence, Grandpa Joe would probably still be resting in that bed. 
Which means, we have the unique gift to offer a golden ticket to someone else. Perhaps we’re in the position of offering someone in need a job or a raise. Perhaps we can lift someone’s spirits with a compliment or genuine word of gratitude. Sometimes validating someone else’s dreams is all they need to pursue a long-awaited goal. 
You can be someone else’s golden ticket.  
Midrash remind us that to deny someone else loving-kindness is akin to denying the essence of all that is. Meaning, God is praying that you will extend your hand and open your heart. 
Because you have a golden ticket just waiting to be given.
The song ends with Grandpa Joe and Charlie singing together:
‘Cause I’ve got a golden ticket
I’ve got a golden chance to make my way
And with a golden ticket, it’s a golden day.
Have a golden day…and a golden Shabbat.
Shabbat Shalom 

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