web analytics
March 27, 2015 / 7 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


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.

Current Top Story
Palestinian Authority TV broadcasts incitement from children's school theater.
Palestinian Authority School Children: Boycott Israel by Killing Jews [video]
Latest Judaism Stories
Business-Halacha-logo

“If I notify people, nobody will buy the matzos!” exclaimed Mr. Mandel. “Once the halachic advisory panel ruled leniently, why can’t I sell the matzos regularly?”

The-Shmuz

So what type of praise is it that Aaron followed orders?

Daf-Yomi-logo

Her Children, Her Whim
‘Kesubas Bnin Dichrin’
(Kesubos 52b)

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: Must one spend great sums of money and invest much effort in making one’s home kosher for Passover? Not all of us have such unlimited funds.

Name Withheld
(Via E-Mail)

Yachatz is not mentioned in the Gemara. What is the foundation for yachatz?

First, the punishment for eating chametz on Pesach is karet, premature death at the Hand of God.

Why is it necessary to invite people to eat from the korban Pesach?

How was I going to get to Manhattan? No cabs were going, we didn’t have a car, and many people who did have cars had no gas.

Did you ever notice that immediately upon being granted our freedom from Egypt, the Jewish people accepted upon themselves the yoke of a new master – Hashem?

Why does Torah make the priests go through a long and seemingly bizarre induction ceremony?

Often people in important positions separate from everyday people & tasks-NOT the Kohen Gadol

You smuggled tefillin into the camp? How can they help? Every day men risked their lives to use them

Rambam: Eating blood’s forbidden because connected to idolatry;Ramban: We’re affected by what we eat

Rambam warns that a festival meal without taking care of the needy isn’t fulfilling simchat yom tov

Nothing beats some preparation to make it a memorable Seder!

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: