As the Simchat Torah holiday – שמחת תורה
(Rejoicing of the Torah) is approaching, we would like to share with you the following story.
One Simchat Torah the founder of the Chassidic movement
Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov – ישראל בעל שם טוב
told his disciples:
On Simchat Torah everyone sleeps in very little, because of the festivities and a lot of “Le’Chayims” (a festive toast) that are made on the previous evening.
Usually the heavenly angels, however, do not say “Le’chayim” on Simchat Torah, and they wake up for the morning prayers at the usual time.
As the Talmud tells us, the angels cannot start singing G-d‘s praises in Heaven on their own. They need to wait for the People of Israel to sing first G-d’s praises on Earth.
But, this year, said the Baal Shem Tov, the angels found themselves with nothing to do – the praises from Earth did not arrive at Heaven!!!
So, while waiting to get the praises from Earth, in the meantime, the angels decided to do some cleaning up in Heaven.
They found Heaven heavily littered with strange objects: torn slippers and broken heels.
The angels are accustomed to finding holy objects like:
tefillin – תפילין
talit – טלית
and similar sacred objects up there, but they had never come across the likes of these.
They decided to ask the archangel Michael, the supernal advocate of the Jewish people, if he knew what this was all about.
“Yes,” admitted angel Michael, “this indeed is my merchandise.
These are the remains of last night’s hakafot – הקפות (lit. circles – referring to dancing circles), at which the poor Jews danced with the scrolls of Torah”.
Most of them did not even know how to pray…
Michael proceeded to sort the tattered shoes by communities:
- These are from Kaminkeh
- These are from Mezeritch
- These are from Mohilev
And archangel Michael went on explaining: “The archangel M’tat, (referring to the most prestigious angel in the heavenly court), usually creates a crown for the Almighty out of the prayers of the People of Israel.
“Today, he shall fashion an even more glorious crown for the Almighty”.
This year the crown will be made out of these tattered shoes.
Wishing you and your loved ones a lot of joy.
Shabbat Shalom Ve’Chag Sameach!
Yoel & Orly