web analytics
September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



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
Palestinian youth hurl stones at Israel Police forces (unseen) during clashes with Police after friday prayers in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras Al Amoud on February 28, 2014, Jerusalem, Israel. Police today in order to prevent riots limted the entrance for Muslim worship to men over age 50. Photo by Sliman Khader/Flash90
‘Benign Neglect’ May Be Setting Up Eastern Jerusalem Jews for Expulsion
Latest Judaism Stories
Hertzberg-092614

Perhaps the most important leadership lesson Elkana taught us is to never underestimate the difference a single person can make.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

“he’s my rabbi” the Black painter said with pride, pulling out a photo of the Rebbe from his wallet

Rabbi Avi Weiss, head of theYeshivat Chovevei Torah. Rabbi Asher Lopatin will be replacing him as head of the school.

The Torah notes that even when we are dispersed God will return us to Him.

Rabbi Sacks

Simply, for Rambam the number 14 (2×7) was his favored organizing principle.

One of the cornerstones of our Jewish life is chesed, kindness. Chesed can only be taught by example

Our understanding of what is and what is not possible creates imagined ceilings of opportunity for us.

This young, innocent child gave me a powerful, warm surge of energy and strength.

The Chafetz Chaim answered that there are two forms of teshuvah; teshuvah m’ahava and teshuvah m’yirah.

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

A Role Reversal
‘Return, O Wayward Sons…’
(Chagigah 15a)

When the Kleins returned, however, they were dismayed to see that the renters did a poor job cleaning up after themselves.

In Parshas Re’eh the Torah tells us about the bechira to adhere to the commandments of Hashem and refrain from sin. In Parshas Nitzavim, the Torah tells us that we have the choice to repent after we have sinned.

As Moshe is about to die, why does God tell him about how the Israelites will ruin everything?

Jonah objected to God accepting repentance based on ulterior motives and likely for short duration.

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

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: