Weekly Chasidic Story #1296 (5783-03) 14 Tishrei 5783 (Oct.9, 2022)
If a Jew was on the poor side, finding boards out of which to build the walls
The story in PDF format for more convenient printing
If a Jew was on the poor side, finding boards out of which to build the walls of his sukkah was always a problem. Year after year, therefore, Rabbi Mordechai of Lechovitch used to prepare a stock of them, and lend them out to the poor folk of the town during the few days between Yom Kippur and the festival of Sukkot.
One year, on a Friday, the very eve of Sukkot, a threadbare cobbler, lame in one leg, made his way up to the door of the tzadik. Could he borrow just a few planks for his sukkah? The tzadik answered that there were none left.
Looking out his window, he then saw the ragged fellow limping from house to house, still in search of a few boards. He felt so sorry for him that he burst into tears.
"Master of the Universe!" he cried. "Just look how Your children cherish the mitzvah of living in a sukkah! See with what self-sacrifice they are determined to fulfill it! It's raining outside. The alleys are full of mud and mire. Yet there he tramps, that ragged cobbler, lame in one leg, and wearing torn shoes - looking for boards for a sukkah!
"Look down, then, Master of the Universe, from Your holy dwelling place in heaven. Bless Your People Israel - and spread out over them Your Sukkah, Your Shelter of Peace."
The tzadik then climbed up to the roof of his house, and searched about until he found a few boards. These he handed to his attendant with the instruction that he should run after the cobbler with them; and since it was the eve of Shabbat, when time would be even shorter than usual, he should help him to build his sukkah as well!
To receive the Story by e-mail every Wednesday--sign up here!
of the Full Moon"