Thursday, October 08, 2009

A Sukkos Tale

A Guest Post By E. Fink

Inspired by CA's Pre-Kol Nidre Story

I had the privilege of attending a wonderful Sukkah party (some people are makpid to call these parties Simchas Beis Shoevas, I think "Party" is fine,) this week. There was a guest speaker, whom I respect and he told a well known story that I, and others found disturbing.

I will let you judge.

A poor family in Poland circa 1850 has no money for an Esrog. Man of house sees a really nice Esrog that he really wants. In order to pay for it he sells their one prized possession - the Tefillin of the Baal Shem Tov, her great-grandfather. He comes home with the Esrog and his wife is wondering where he got the money for the Esrog. She finds out that he sold her grandfather's tefillin. She yells "we live in poverty! I have asked you to gert a job! We agreed never to sell the tefillin and you selll them for this! And she grabs the Esrog and throws it violently to the ground. The Esrog is now possul. The man says to Hashem, "I lost my Esrog, I lost my wife's grandfather's tefillin, I will not lose my Shalom Bayis too". And he does not get upset at his wife.

The story was used to teach that Sukkos is about peace, harmony and unity.

The people behind us were very upset by the story. He told his wife, "I do not agree with this story at all. I don't even want to talk about it!"

The (not Frum) woman next to my wife was equally perturbed by two things. She said "doesn't the Kesubah say the man has to provide for his family? And of course he didn't 'say anything back to his wife' - he was completely in the wrong!"

Yes, this story sounds awfully like the Ushpizin movie from a few years back. This Rabbi did not see that movie. But as my wife told the woman next to her - personally, I did not advocate seeing the movie as it seemed to have a similarly ridiculous lesson (at least according to IMDB).

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