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Miraculous Succos Story!

 
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Motek









  
Post Posted: Fri, Oct 10 2008, 11:32 am       Post subject: Miraculous Succos Story!
by Menachem Ziegelbaum

R’ Meir Freiman, a young man in Kfar Chabad, was picked up by the army mobilization vehicle from the shul Yom Kippur afternoon, 1973. A few hours later he was sitting behind the wheel of a tank and driving towards the front in the south.

It was rough. They had many losses. Many friends fell. The first days of the war were a nightmare with no day or night. Morale was low, but when Succos arrived, R’ Meir’s sole concern was the dalet minim. “We must get a lulav and esrog,” he told his astonished friends.

He was unable to say the bracha on the four minim on the first day of Succos. They arrived at the front the next day. He leaped off the tank and grabbed them excitedly, reciting the two brachos with great kavana.

The words, “who has granted us life and sustained us and enabled us to reach this occasion,” took on new meaning under the circumstances.

Meir was among the armored forces that crossed the Suez Canal. Now they were parked opposite the city of Ismailiya exposed to the shelling of the Egyptians. During breaks between shelling, his thoughts were on his home and family. He also thought of the mitzva of succa that he was unable to observe that year.

When he finished with the lulav and esrog the “Lubavitcher” within him reared up. He suggested to his tank crew members that they do the mitzva too. They knew him already and had gotten used to his style and they willingly agreed.

Then he decided to branch out and enable other soldiers to do the mitzva. He left the four minim on his tank and went over to the next tank that was parked two hundred meters away.

“Chag sameiach” he called out to the commander of the tank. The commander eyed the “weird religious guy” and said, “Chag what?”

Meir knew that the commander was from a Ha’Shomer Ha’Tzair, virulent anti-religious kibbutz. He also knew his views which were mostly not compatible with Judaism. “Chag sameiach,” he called out again. “It’s Succos today and we just got a lulav and esrog. Come, you and your men, and say the bracha on them.”

The tank commander didn’t shoo him off as he might have done if he had met him under other circumstances. After all, they were brothers in arms and it was hard to refuse, but his self-respect and kibbutz education did not allow him to give in easily.

“Why are you talking to me now about mitzvos? Do you see what’s going on here? What chag and what mitzvos? While you are standing and talking to me, you can get killed! Leave, it’s really not the right time now.”

Meir just smiled and said, “Come, I’m telling you, and call the other guys too. Don’t be so negative. It’s Succos today, after all …”

After some more back and forth, the commander acceded to Meir’s request. He even called the rest of the tank crew to come to Meir’s tank in order to say the bracha on the four minim.

The commander said the bracha first. He had just taken the lulav when an explosion could be heard nearby. The soldiers who had crowded around Meir could not believe their eyes. A pillar of smoke rose from their tank that had sustained a direct hit. They had just been sitting in it! The tank was engulfed in flames and from inside they could hear the sound of their ammunition exploding.

The tank commander recovered from the shock first. “Thanks to you! Thanks to your lulav!” he shouted and he fell on Meir and kissed him.

When they had calmed down a bit the commander told Meir that until the end of Succos he would keep the esrog in his pocket. “It’s my good-luck charm. It saved my life. Whoever wants to say the bracha will borrow it from me.”

Shabbos Chol Ha’Moed found Meir and his buddies entrenched in bunkers they had dug in the sand. Meir had somehow gotten hold of some wine for Kiddush. Friday night, during one of the respites, he suggested that they leave their bunker “in order to stretch our weary bones and make Kiddush.”

Some of the guys liked the idea and despite the danger this entailed they went out. The remaining soldiers were feeling very down and refused to get out. After they pleaded with them a bit they also agreed to come out and hear Kiddush.

They went over to the nearby tank that served them as a table. Meir put a cup down, poured some wine, lifted the cup and began to recite the Kiddush. When he finished the bracha and all present had answered amen, the area shook from an explosion. This time it was very close. Once again it was a direct hit from an Egyptian shell that fell into the bunker they had just left.

“You saved our lives! Twice!” exclaimed the soldiers. Meir smiled and said, “It wasn’t me. It’s the mitzva!” he said modestly.
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ChossidMom









  
Post Posted: Sat, Oct 11 2008, 1:14 pm       Post subject: re: Miraculous Succos Story!
Good story and totally not surprising!
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All that is thought should not be said. All that is said should not be written. All that is written should not be published. All that is published should not be read.
Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk
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mamacita









  
Post Posted: Sat, Oct 11 2008, 4:10 pm       Post subject:
I've heard that there is an Israel girl named Lulava because her father was one of the army guys in this story Smile
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cl









  
Post Posted: Sat, Oct 11 2008, 4:54 pm       Post subject: re: Miraculous Succos Story!
beautiful story, thx 4 sharing Smile
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ChossidMom









  
Post Posted: Sat, Oct 11 2008, 5:35 pm       Post subject:
mamacita wrote:
I've heard that there is an Israel girl named Lulava because her father was one of the army guys in this story Smile


Omigosh. That's a curse. Lulava? Rolling Eyes Then again, anything goes...
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Besiyata Dishmaya









  
Post Posted: Sat, Oct 11 2008, 5:39 pm       Post subject: re: Miraculous Succos Story!
Beautiful story! Give it to Nachman Seltzer to write it up for the Hamodia.
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Motek









  
Post Posted: Sat, Oct 11 2008, 10:08 pm       Post subject: Re: re: Miraculous Succos Story!
MeThinks wrote:
Give it to Nachman Seltzer to write it up for the Hamodia.


Uh, it's already written up - see first post 8)
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Besiyata Dishmaya









  
Post Posted: Sun, Oct 12 2008, 3:41 am       Post subject: Re: re: Miraculous Succos Story!
Motek wrote:
MeThinks wrote:
Give it to Nachman Seltzer to write it up for the Hamodia.

Uh, it's already written up - see first post 8)

Where was it written up? I don't recall reading it in the Hamodia. Hamodia has quite a large clientele of readers throughout the world. Such an inspiring story would add lots of emunah and bitochon in the Rebono Shel Olam, especially in those whose emunah is a bit shaky.
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Raizle









  
Post Posted: Sun, Oct 12 2008, 7:10 am       Post subject: re: Miraculous Succos Story!
I think she means that the story has been written up already by Menachem Ziegelbaum. LOL
you don't give a written story to a different author to re-write.
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Besiyata Dishmaya









  
Post Posted: Sun, Oct 12 2008, 12:30 pm       Post subject: Re: re: Miraculous Succos Story!
Raizle wrote:
I think she means that the story has been written up already by Menachem Ziegelbaum. LOL
you don't give a written story to a different author to re-write.

You're right. I don't necessarily mean that it has to be Nachman Seltzer. Menachem Ziegelbaum could put it into the Hamodia too. It would be chaval that more people haven't read this inspiring story.
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Simcha100









  
Post Posted: Thu, Oct 23 2008, 4:18 pm       Post subject: re: Miraculous Succos Story!
great story. THanks for sharing. lets all try to take the lesson to heart...hope you all had a nice succot!
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