Delicious fudge was invented by mistake. An American folk legend states that fudge was invented by mistake while someone was trying to make toffee. In order to forever commemorate the power of admitting ones mistakes, the fudged toffee recipe was humbly named “fudge”.
Creation of the Universe Allows Fudging Things as Well as Tshuva.
The Holy One Blessed be He built the power of mistakes and Tshuva into the very fabric of the universe. (Pirkey derebbe Eliezer) Humility extends from the cosmological Fudge Factor down to the smallest piece of crystallized sugar that builds the fudge. Through Tshuvah, repentance, you can make a mistake and change your actions back to the correct way. When this is done with the correct attitude, transgressions made by mistake can actually be converted into good deeds.
Real People Admit their Mistakes.
One of the most frequently cited names in the Talmud is that of the Emora Rava. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that Rava is also among the most frequently cited Talmudic rabbis who had the humility to update their opinion when they felt that their previous thought was incorrect. That is why we often find the expression “hadar beh Rava” (Rava changed his mind).
Pirkey Avot says that admitting the truth is central to wisdom and that jerks rarely admit the truth. (Avot V, 7). Our Rabbis of Blessed Memory gave several examples of “admitting the truth”. After Aaron Hakohen tragically lost two of his sons, Aaron did not feel right in participating in the consumption of the meat from the sacrifices. Moshe admitted the truth of Aaron’s difficult position and agreed that Aaron need not eat the meat.
The daughters of Tzlofchad wanted to inherit their father’s property since there was not a male child alive that could inherit. The Holy One Blessed be He himself admitted that the daughters were correct. (Avot D’rebbe Nathan ver. 2 40). Our Sages further praise them for their love of the Land of Israel and their desire to take an active part in their inheritance.
It has been said that one of the outstanding characteristics of great jazz musicians, who spend a lot of energy jamming, is that they know when to say “Oh! Yeah” when a wrong note is hit.
Sugar Cane is a Symbol of Humility.
Sugar is the main ingredient of fudge. Sugar, which often comes from a “cane”, can also be a symbol of humility. Our Rabbis have told us, “be soft like a reed”. When a strong wind blows, reeds like sugar cane and bamboo immediately bend. When the wind has passed, the reed returns to its erect position. (Kalah Rabati 7 1).
Sugar cane grows wild in Israel. Israel is a land flowing with milk and honey (Shemot 3 8). Fudge is made of the interaction of sugar crystals and dairy fats. There are those who say that the “honey” mentioned in the Torah means any sweet produce of the land, specifically, sugar cane. Most believe that “honey” in the Torah refers exclusively to date honey, while “milk” seems to include all dairy products.
Sweets Make Your Tongue Speak Torah.
Forty years prior to the destruction of the First Bet Hamikdash, date palms were planted in Babylonia. This is because sweet foods were so valued. So, even after that terrible destruction, there were still sweet foods with which to accustom the tongue to speaking Torah words (Yer. Taanit 4, 5). May our Elul Tshuva be blessed with the knowledge that it is in our power to turn the harsh and the bitter to the sweet if we admit our mistakes and go on from there, and may we be strong enough to know how to bend to our Creator’s will.