see also below the story for the whole mail
Of all the Hebrew holidays only Sukkot is called “The Season of Our Happiness.” And, as the Holiday of Sukkot approaches, we would like to share with you the following story, told by Rabbi Shlomo Karlebach.The Poor Chassid and The Rich Man
There was a poor Chassid. He lived in a small, broken down house. He didn’t have much of anything, but he was joyous.
Every year, when Sukkot came, he would wait until everyone else had built their sukkah, and he would go around and ask for whatever they had left over – a rotted board, a rusted nail. From these leftovers he would build his sukkah, and all seven days he would sit in his sukkah and sing with great joy.
Across the field from the Chassid lived a rich man. He owned the local factory and employed most of the town. His house was large, and he didn’t lack for any material thing. The rich man had everything he could imagine, but he wasn’t happy, he was really sad – downright miserable.
The sukkah that the rich man had built every year was a wonder – the size of a football field, with an oak table, candelabras, running water – everything he could imagine. But every year he sat in his sukkah, and he heard the Chassid singing from across the field, and it drove him absolutely crazy.
As Sukkot approached one year, the rich man had an idea. He went around to everyone in the town and told them, “When this Chassid comes around asking for a rotted board, a rusted nail – don’t give it to him.”
What could anyone do? The rich man owned the town. When the Chassid came around to each person, he shrugged his shoulders, turned his palms up, and shook his head. Sorry, not even a rusty nail…
Sukkot came and the rich man sat in his sukkah, at his oak table, with his candelabras and everything he could imagine. He made Kiddush in peace and blissful quiet. He began to eat his fish, in peace and blissful quiet.
But still, as usual, the rich man was very sad, even though there was no sign of joy coming out from the poor Chassid…
Then, from across the field, singing!
He jumped up! How can it be? He looked outside and saw, across the field, a shabby sukkah propped against the Chassid’s house.
He ran across the field and burst in on the Chassid, “Where did you get the wood for this Sukkah!”
The Chassid received him with a glowing face, ‘Shalom Aleichem! Come in! Sit down!’
Standing, the rich man repeated, ‘Where did you get this wood?’
‘I’ll be glad to tell you, just come in and sit down’ the Chassid told him.
The sat in the half broken chair across from the Chassid.
The Chassid said, ‘Let me tell you a story.’
‘Yesterday, I was looking around town for some way to build a Sukkah, asking for a spare board here, a spare nail there. Strangest thing, I couldn’t find anything. Everyone used up just what they had, there was nothing left over.
It got pretty late, maybe 3 am, and I was still walking around town. Now, who do I run into…but the Angel of Death!
I said, ‘Angel of Death! Shalom Aleichem!‘
and he said, ‘Aleichem Shalom.’
I said, ‘So what brings you to town?’
and he said, ‘I just have one more pick up before the holiday comes in.’
I said, ‘One more pickup, huh? Mind if I ask who it is?'”
“Now you wouldn’t believe,” the Chassid continued, leaning forward, staring right at the rich man, “but he said your name!”
I said, ‘That guy? You came to get that guy? You don’t have to bother.’
The Angel of Death said, ‘Don’t have to bother, huh? Why’s that?’
I said, ‘You don’t have to bother, because that guy is so sad, it’s like he’s already dead.’
‘He’s that sad huh?’
‘Yup, he’s that sad.’
‘Well, if he’s that sad, I guess I don’t have to bother. Thanks for saving me the work!’
Now as the Angel of Death was about to leave, I asked him for a little favor.
I said, ‘Listen, I helped you out, maybe you can help me out?’
And he said, ‘Sure, what can I do for you?’
I said, ‘I really need a Sukkah for the holiday.’
He paused, and than said, ‘You know, I’m not scheduled to be back here until after the festival. In the burial society, they have the wooden stakes they put in a new grave before they put up the headstone, the wooden stakes that say ‘Here Lies…’ at the top. I’m not planning to be back here, so you can use those to build your Sukkah.’
‘And that’s exactly what I did. In fact, if you look up there, you can see that on each board, it says ‘Here Lies…’, said the Chassid.
The rich man was shocked and finally asked the Chassid if he could teach him how to be happy.
The Chassid burst into a joyous song, having the rich man joining him…
Sometimes to make a real change in life, one has to reach the very bottom and then rise very high from there..
We wish you and your loved ones a Happy New Hebrew Year, a year with great accomplishments, a year of peace, a year filled with joy and good health.
Yoel & Orly
|Shalom, as promissed in our Newsletter from yesterday, we are now including a link to our beginner level eBook about “The Four Species” for the holiday of Sukkot. Here it is: http://www.ulpanor.com/ebooks/sukot/4-species/beginners/ |
And for those of you who have not yet had the chance to access the newsletter from yesterday and the advanced level version of the eBook, it follows below: First of all we would like to offer you a special gift for The Holiday of Sukkot. It is our our new eBooklet explaining what are the “Four Species”and how those are used during the Holiday of Sukkot. Below is the link to the advanced Hebrew level version:http://www.ulpanor.com/ebooks/sukot/4-species/advanced/ We will notify about the low level Hebrew version shortly. Of all the Hebrew holidays only Sukkot is called “The Season of Our Happiness.”