Monday, October 08, 2007

Sacrificing His Hiddur Mitzvah

In a sicha on the second day of Sukkos 5727, the Lubavitcher Rebbe explained the meaning of the Baal Shem Tov story:

The Baal Shem Tov built himself such a sukkah, one of doubtful validity, for he was the "head of the people", and therefore he strongly wished to descend from his lofty level to those Jews that were "hewers of wood and drawers of water", simple folk, so that even for them the spiritual influence of the sukkah would be perfect. Therefore he sat in such a sukkah, in order to elevate even the sukkah of simple folk.

And this is what he taught the scholars of Mezhibuz: a true leader is prepared to sacrifice his hiddur mitzvah if he knows that this will help one Jew, and even if he is one of the simple folk.


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