Sunday, September 28, 2008

Over the Wall to the Sukkah

5. Over the Wall to the Sukkah

Rabbi Abraham of Slonim (the Yesod HaAvodah) arrived at the synagogue in the

morning on the first day of Sukkot and found a Jewish soldier there. The

rebbe called him over and said, "I see light shining from you. What did you

do?" The soldier was speechless; he had no idea what to say. But when the

rebbe pressed him he told the rebbe what had happened the previous night,

the first night of Sukkot. He was a guard in his army camp and was feeling

badly that he wouldn't he able to observe the mitzvah of being in a sukkah.

Then he saw that beyond the wall around the camp there was a Jewish home and

in its courtyard was a sukkah. Now, if he left his post he could be shot but

he decided that after all the officers left and he was alone, he would climb

the wall and be in the sukkah. As time passed he began to be upset because

the officers were not leaving and the mitzvah is traditionally performed

most perfectly before midnight. But fifteen minutes before midnight everyone

left and he was alone. He stuck a piece of bread in his pocket and jumped

over the wall quickly so no other soldiers could see him, he made kiddush on

the bread (which is permitted if one has no wine) and sat eating in the

sukkah. Then he quickly jumped back over the wall. He was so happy, he told

the rebbe, that he had fulfilled the mitzvah with self-sacrifice. "That's

beautiful," said the rebbe, "but you wouldn't shine so much from that. Tell

me more." Then the soldier admitted that he was so happy at what he had done

that he had danced in the camp the whole night. "Now I understand why you're

shining so much," said the rebbe. (Yehi Or, p.264)

1 comment:

the sabra said...

thanks for the story! big help! (and amazin to take a lesson from, as well)