Weekly Chasidic Story #1190 (s5781-02/ 11 Tishrei, 5781 / Sept. 21, 2020) This week

At the Crossroads, Part 2

It was already quite late, so he began to ride at high speed on his bike, but the cuff of his pants suddenly caught in the chain of his bicycle!

Cannection: Seasonal -- SUKKOT


Story in PDF format for more convenient printing.

At the Crossroads, Part 2

A Lubavitcher young man in Israel lived not far from a road junction where many buses stopped, picking up and letting off passengers who were going to various places throughout the country.
He used to ride to there on his bicycle at least once a week to invite Jewish men to put on tefillin. During the Sukkot festival when the mitzvah of tefillin is not applicable, he would show up there with the "Four Species" in the basket of his bike.
He would even go there in the afternoon of Hoshana Rabba, the last day of the Sukkot festival. Many a time it happened that people made the blessing of Shechecheyanu a short while before the end of the festival at sunset (a joyous blessing recited on joyous occasions, one of them being the first time you shake the lulav-etrog set during the festival).
One Sukkot he went to the road junction on Hoshana Rabba as usual on his bicycle and offered many dozens of people to make a blessing over the four species. When he saw that the sun was about to set and the time for the entrance of the separate festival of Shemini Atzeret-Simchat Torah was approaching, he reloaded his basket with the four species, the vodka, the cookies and the pamphlets. He mounted his bike and turned into the direction of his house.
It was already quite late and he wanted to have time to go to the mikveh too, so he began to pedal at high speed. As he was arriving to one of the major crossroads, the cuff of his pants suddenly caught in the chain of his bicycle. He was unable to brake! In order not to endanger himself by riding at high speed into a busy junction, he turned onto a side road leading to an industrial area, which was empty on the eve of the festival.
The bicycle came to a gradual halt inside the industrial area. However, he was unable to free his pants by himself without tearing them.
At a distance he noticed a worker on his way home. The chasid called to him for help, and the man hurried to him and succeeded to free the pants.
The chasid thanked him and was about to turn the bicycle around in order to ride back to his house, when the worker asked him: "What is that in your basket? Is that a lulav?"
"Yes," the Chassid answered, "I have here a set of all four species for the Sukkot festival."
"Great!" said the worker. "I work night shifts so I sleep during the day. Sadly, I did not get a chance to make a blessing over the lulav this year. Please let me hold your four species and make the blessing!"
Thus the worker said the blessing of "Shechecheyanu" in addition to the regular blessing over the four species a short time before the termination of the festival.
Source: Adapted and supplemented by Yerachmiel Tilles from the rendition in Chassidic Gems (pg. 373) by Tuvia Litzman.

Author Litzman's summation:
'G-d directs the steps of man' - even when riding a bicycle…

Editor Y. Tilles's suggestions and links:

Truth is, that chasid needs an upgrade to his bicycle for Sukkot. Like this, for example:

Or, this story was published in 2005 and probably occurred earlier. Maybe he already joined the squad:

Or perhaps he decided to downgrade to a different mode: VIDEO

Finally, if you are interested in attaching a sukkah to your car, watch this instructional video:


Yerachmiel Tilles is co-founder and associate director of Ascent-of-Safed, and chief editor of this website (and of KabbalaOnline.org). He has hundreds of published stories to his credit, and many have been translated into other languages. He tells them live at Ascent nearly every Saturday night.

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