We, the “United Children At the Shabbos Table” (U-CAST), in order to form a more perfect Shabbos table, establish our rights, ensure (what we consider to be) domestic tranquility, provide for our common defense from parental demands, promote our general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our siblings, do ordain and hereby establish this Constitution of the Shabbos Table:

After spending a beautiful Shabbos Chanukah with our family in Toms River, New Jersey, we capped it off with an enjoyable family event on Motza’ei Shabbos. We ate pizza, played games, ate chocolate coins, laughed, ate latkes, and then ate doughnuts. But the highlight of the night for our children was undoubtedly receiving individual presents from their grandparents.

This past Shabbos, our family was discussing that famous Shakespearean bonnet (that’s what Shakespeare wore in the rain when composing his deepest poetry): “Chazak Chazak v’nis’chazeik, / my mother baked a chocolate cake; / and in the cake there was rake, / and in the rake there was a snake.”

One day, during my wonderful years in Yeshiva Shaarei Torah, my friend “Richie” (name has not been changed, as I have no intention of protecting his anonymity) excitedly motioned for me to follow him into his dormitory room. As he opened his door, I heard a strange noise from inside. Hanging from a string attached to the middle of the ceiling was a flying cow with wings, circling the room, mooing, and yelping.

 The other week, I was looking for a check I had received a few days earlier so I could bring it to the bank to deposit. To my chagrin, I couldn’t find it anywhere. I looked in every drawer in my office and on every shelf. I even went through the omnipresent pile of papers on my desk, but it wasn’t there. I asked my wife and kids if they had seen it but no one had. I uncomfortably asked that the check be reissued, knowing I would only find the old one after I had received a new one. (It’s just another example of Murphy’s Law. And to think, he is the governor of New Jersey.)

 If I was making supper for my family, it would consist of Cheerios every night. The only choice would be: with milk or just plain cereal? My wife, however, aside from deciding what to make for supper, and investing the effort to actually make it – with multiple children, baruch Hashem, invading our home – she also has to contend with ungrateful children who don’t approve of that night’s supper. (You thought this only happened in your house?)

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