Photo Credit: Jewish Press

The Torah tells us that, in the days of the Bais HaMikdash, aliyah l’regel took place three times a year. Every Pesach, Shavuos and Sukkos Jews from all over the land could be seen coming to the Jerusalem to fulfill the commandment of G-d.

There were some, however, who hesitated about fulfilling this commandment. One of these people came to Rabi Yehoshua, saying, “How can I leave my home and all my wealth? Evil neighbors and thieves will wait till I leave to steal all my possessions?”

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Rabi Yehoshua attempted to reassure the hesitant man, “Fear not, my son. Your home and your possessions will be safe. Hashem will surely send His messengers to protect them in your absence, while you are performing a mitzvah.

“I am not only giving you theoretical assurance,” he continued. “It happened that a certain Jew, who had gone up to Jerusalem on the Yom Tov, forgot to bolt his door and when he returned he saw a snake wound about the rings of his door. Only when the snake saw that the master of the house had returned did it unwind itself and disappear.

“Yet another time, a second Jew forgot to take in an entire bin of wheat into his home and he set off on the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. On his way home he suddenly remembered what he had done and he said to himself, ‘What a foolish thing I have done. Undoubtedly, when I return the wheat will be missing, stolen by evil thieves.’

“However, when he returned home, imagine his surprise when he saw two mighty lions standing ferociously by the wheat. When they saw him they bounded away.

“Listen then to the stories that happened to your fellow Jews and do not be of faint heart. Go celebrate the holiday as you were commanded to and with faith in the Almighty.”

And the Jew was heartened by these words and he went up on the pilgrimage to Jerusalem with joy and confidence and returned home to find all that he owned safe and untouched.

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