The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 26 November 2005 / 24 Heshvan 5766

Two Ways of Looking at It

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

The Succot Holiday in Eretz Yisrael offers many old friends an opportunity to get together. People who went to school together abroad and havent seen each other in years meet as a result of a visit to the Holy Land by those who remain in the Diaspora.

The convivial reminiscing about old times and old friends inevitably hits a soft spot in the road when Yom Tov Sheini Shel Goluyot (the second day of the holiday observed in the Diaspora) comes around. The good humor which prevails even when one friend is observing Simchat Torah while the other is already wearing his weekday clothes can be seen in the dialogue overheard at the conclusion of the past Succot.

"Do you know why we have an extra day of Yom Tov?" asked the American of his old friend who settled in Israel. "Its because G-d loves us so much that He wants to hold on to us for another day!"

"Thats not how we look at it," replied the Israeli. "Jews in Eretz Yisrael are simply smarter than those abroad, so that what we can learn from one day of Yom Tov that which takes you twice as long!"

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