Succos is a wonderful and very special Yom Tov (holiday). When speaking about Succos the Torah uses the word Simcha (real joy) three times, which is more than any other Yom Tov. We want to help add to your Simcha this Succos by sending a great story in four episodes today (erev Succos) and on Sunday, Monday and culminating on Tuesday. We hope that this adds to your Simchas Yom Tov, your holiday joy.
Have a joyful Succos with your family and friends! Stanley & your Camp Monroe Family
Greater than Gold and Silver Excerpted and printed with permission to Camp Monroe from the publisher, Feldheim Publishers
Chapter 1: A Special Mitzvah It was Chol HaMo’ed Sukkos, and Oma (grandma) and Opa (grandpa) Kirschenshteiner sat at the head of their long table, surrounded by their family and guests. Opa, who was dressed in his finest silk robe, looked around with love and pride at all his grandchildren. Oma and Opa’s Sukkah was the most beautiful in the whole town. The gorgeous decorations made the mahogany wall panels, elegant curtains, and crystal chandelier look extra special. But the true beauty of the Kirschenshteiners’ Sukkah was the group of guests who were always welcomed inside. “Opa, thank you! Thanks you so much!” a voice called out. It was Wolff, one of Opa’s older grandchildren. He had gotten a special present from his grandfather in honor of Sukkos. Wolff came closer to Opa and said, “Thank you for the beautiful Lulav and Esrog that you sent me on erev Yom Tov.” A big smile spread across Opa Kirschenshteimner’s face It was clear that he was pleased that his grandchild appreciated his Yom Tov present. “But Opa,” Wolff continued, “we still haven’t seen your Esrog. Please show us!” Wolff was curious to see the Esrog, and he was sure that Opa wouldn’t refuse him. He know very well that owning a beautiful Esrog was one Opa’s greatest pleasures. All of the Esrog merchants in town also knew this. Weeks before Sukkos, Opa, who was a wealthy businessman, would buy a beautiful Esrog. And then, if he would come across a nicer one, he would buy it as well. Not only that, but if the Esrog merchant would bring Opa Kirschenshteiner another , even more special Esrog on erev Yom Tov, he would buy that one too! “Show us Opa,” Wolff asked again, “show us!” Opa Kirschenshteiner took a deep breath and smiled. “This year,” he said, as if revealing a secret, “I bought six Esrogim! And they are all of the finest quality.” As everyone in the Sukkah watched, Opa stood up and approached the cabinet in the corner of the Sukkah. Out came six golden Esrog holders. Opa unwrapped the Esrogim one by one for everyone to see. His eyes shone as he gazed at them. Then he turned to his grandson and said, “These are all exquisite Esrogim. But tell me, which do you think is the one I made my Beracha on?” Everyone in the Sukkah waited with bated breath as Wolff examined the Esrogim. Finally, the boy pointed to one. “Yes,” exclaimed his grandfather, “that’s the one I chose! I see you really understand the meaning of a beautiful Esrog,” he said proudly. Opa lovingly wrapped the Esrogim and put them back in the cabinet, all except the chosen Esrog.
But Wolff was not quite satisfied. He thought for a moment and then began to speak. “Opa, I have a question,” he said shyly. “Everyone buys an Esrog for Sukkos. But you – you always buy more than one. Sometimes you buy three or four or even six! Why is this Mitzvah so special to you?” Opa Kirschenshteiner leaned over to his grandson. “Yes, Wolff, this Mitzvah does have a special place in my heart,” he answered. “It’s a long story – a long, interesting story.” “So tell us, Opa! Please tell us the story,” Wolff said excitedly. And Opa began to speak… Chapter 2: Six Coins a Week In a small village in Hungary, there lived a poor Jewish peddler. He was known to all as Reb Itzik. Reb Itzik worked very hard to support his wife and four children. Early in the morning, he would go to the marketplace with a sack slung over his shoulder. There he bought used housewares and clothing. Then he went to the nearby villages to sell his merchandise. Reb Itzik barely earned enough money to provide for his family. But even so, he always tried to save a little in order to buy an Esrog for Sukkos. One year, the Esrogim were very expensive, and Reb Itzik couldn’t afford to buy one so he chipped in with two other people and together they bought an Esrog. Reb Itzik was able to fulfill the Mitzvah, but he didn’t feel the same happiness as when he had his own Esrog. And so, he decided that next year he would make sure to be able to buy his own. After Sukkos that year, Reb Itzik approached the Esrog merchant and made an offer. “Listen, my friend, I have an idea,” he told him. “Every Friday of every week I will pay you six coins. In return, when Sukkos comes, you will give me a beautiful Esrog.” Reb Itzik continued, “But, even if prices go up before Sukkos, you have to keep your part of the bargain.” The Esrog merchant thought about the offer. He decided it was a good deal, and he agreed. And so it was. Every Friday, just as he had promised, Reb Itzik brought six coins to the Esrog merchant. He felt happy and confident, knowing that come Sukkos, he would have his very own Esrog with which to fulfill the Mitzvah.
Your next installment of this special Sukkos Story will be on Sunday.