repackaging good

It occurred to me today, while I was waiting in line to pick up some lunch and I saw a Pepsi Max (r) machine that bore the advertisement, "one calorie, maximum taste!" That the point of advertising is to associate a name or brand with something good. The goal is not just that when you think of that brand you think of that 'something good,' but that when you think of that 'something good,' you think of that brand.

Since everything created that is ultimately good for us comes unquestionably from HaShem, associating another name besides HaShem with it, in a way intended to associate that good with that name, borders on Avodah Zarah in a way. (Or at the very least me'ilah - using something that is dedicated Holy for one's own unholy purposes.)

As a Jew it is our responsibility to recognize that all the goodness in the world comes from HaShem. טעמו וראו כי טוב השם - taste and see that HaShem is good. It's not a hypothetical statement, but an instruction to recognize and taste the goodness of HaShem in all things.

Next time we say "I like x because it tastes better," just remember on the inside, that 'x' has nothing to do with the taste, the taste is just another example of HaShem's goodness. We can certainly do (and should do) hakarat haTov (recognizing the good) in the effort of 'x' helping to make this good taste available to me, even if 'x' is doing it for their own profit. But, the goodness itself should never be associated with 'x', instead it should be recognized and really and truly originating with the Master of the world.


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