web analytics
October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



A Life-Saving Mitzvah

Lessons-logo

With Sukkos well behind us, we are back to our normal workday mode, our post- holiday routine. The sukkah, our temporary dwelling for eight days, has been dismantled and we have returned to our comfortable, permanent homes. Likewise, our Daled Minim have been discarded, having served their purpose. We’re done with those mitzvos (at least for this season).

Among the many Torah lectures I had the privilege of hearing during the holiday, one stood out. The subject matter was how we are meant to look upon the mitzvos that Hashem gives us to perform. Sounds like a run-of-the-mill topic, except for the incident that the speaker described that illustrated his point. It left an indelible impression on me.

The incident he described occurred during the 1973 Yom Kippur War and took place somewhere in the Sinai during a lull in the fighting. It was Sukkos time and the chaplain was making the rounds of various military installations with a lulav and esrog for the purpose of enabling the soldiers to perform the mitzvah of the Daled Minim. Naturally long lines would be assembled, as the men would wait patiently for their turns.

As the line formed in one installation a vehicle appeared, carrying a huge supply of ammunition. A soldier, who happened to be chiloni, was behind the wheel. Upon spotting the long line of men, he wondered why they were waiting. His curiosity getting the better of him, he emerged from his vehicle to investigate.

When he approached the line, he was told that the men were waiting to “bentsch esrog.” Being irreligious, he had no interest in this activity since it had no meaning to him. He was about to return to his vehicle but somehow he was persuaded to join them. Inasmuch as it was the last day of Sukkos, what can be the harm? So he got on line.

While standing there, waiting his turn, a tremendous explosion took place at the exact spot where his vehicle was standing. A bomb directly hit the vehicle, setting off all the ammunition inside. Everything blew up, and all that remained were a few shards of metal and deep crater. The driver had escaped with his life, all because of his decision to join his buddies in performing a mitzvah.

Three months later, his wife gave birth to their first child. By choosing to do a mitzvah that he did not believe in, this young father was able to return to his wife and welcome his newborn child into the world. Needless to say, that chiloni became a changed man as a result.

The point the lecturer was making by telling the story was that the performance of a mitzvah literally saved the life of someone who scoffed at the mitzvah. Had he chosen to return to his vehicle, his wife would have become a widow and his unborn child would be fatherless. The mitzvah he chose to perform turned out to be a life-saving one.

We, too, should look upon every mitzvah we do as if it were truly life saving, for it helps us sustain our spiritual existence. That is why we are told time and again: “vechai bahem” – You shall live by them (mitzvos).

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A Life-Saving Mitzvah”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Rafael's Spike anti-tank missile launcher.
India to buy $525 Million in Israeli Anti-Tank Missiles
Latest Judaism Stories
Greenbaum-102414

Noach was the lonely man of faith living in a depraved world, full of wickedness.

Parsha-Perspectives-logo

Avraham became a great man during the 175 years of his life, while his predecessors became increasingly wicked, despite staggering knowledge, during their lifetimes of hundreds of years.

Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo

Shem realized that he owed his existence to his father who brought him into the world.

Daf-Yomi-logo

Law-Abiding Citizen
‘That Which Is Crooked Cannot Be Made Straight…’
(Yevamos 22a-b)

The flood was not sent to destroy, but to restore the positive potential of the world.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

Why is there is no mention of dinosaurs, and other prehistoric animals, in the Torah?

Strict din demands perfection. There is no room for shortcomings and no place for excuses; you are responsible.

Surprisingly, my husband and one son arrived home over half-an-hour earlier than usual. I excitedly shared my perfect-timing story, but my better half one upped me easily.

Noach felt a tug, and then heard a rip. His jacket had been caught on the nail, and the beautiful suit had a tear.

Boundaries must be set in every home. Parents and children are not pals. They are not equals.

Noah and his wife could not fathom living together as husband and wife and continuing the human race

The Babel story is the 2nd in a 4-act drama that’s unmistakably a connecting thread of Bereishit

Our intentions are critical in raising children because they mimic everything we parents do & think

A humble person who achieves a position of prominence will utilize the standing to benefit others.

More Articles from Chaim Gershon
Lessons-logo

With Sukkos well behind us, we are back to our normal workday mode, our post- holiday routine. The sukkah, our temporary dwelling for eight days, has been dismantled and we have returned to our comfortable, permanent homes. Likewise, our Daled Minim have been discarded, having served their purpose. We’re done with those mitzvos (at least for this season).

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/a-life-saving-mitzvah/2013/10/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: