Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Sitting In The Plate

Excerpt from Opening the Tanya:

It is told of the Saba Kadisha of Radoshitz that in his youth before he became rebbe, he was terribly poor and often had nothing to eat. One year, after he had eaten nothing from Yom Kippur to the day before Sukkos, his wife sold a jewel she had and bought candles, challah, and potatoes for the festival. When he saw the candles and challah on his return from the synagogue, he was very happy, recited the Kiddush, washed his hands, and sat down to eat. Being very hungry, he ate ravenously, until he stopped and said to himself: “Berl, you are not sitting in the sukkah but in the plate!”

Someone can be tending to the most basic needs of his body and with conscious intent be observing the mitzvah of eating in the sukkah, yet still be sitting in the dish and not in the mitzvah.


At October 6, 2009 at 9:12:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

This raises an question. We're supposed to do in the sukkah nearly all the things we should typically do in our house. Isn't enjoying a festive meal one of these things? Or are we to push our physical selves/motivations aside? You could say we should ennoble ourselves while in the sukkah, but does that mean that wanting to eat well is bad?

At October 6, 2009 at 10:06:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous Chosid said...

Bob: Depends. According to his level, this was lowering himself, since he should have been finding Hashem through partaking in the food (the way I saw the story, he gave up eating potatoes from that day since he felt they tended to distract him from avodas Hashem. This seems similar to the halacha that although it is better to speak only holy matters in the Sukkah, if one is not on the level, he should converse as usual (with no prohibited speech of course,) since just sitting in the Sukkah is a mitzvah.


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