Hold On to Your Suitcase!
There’s a story about a thief who had his eyes on a trading house crowded with customers, whose trade was extensive and profits were large. He followed the developments of the trading house, and he revealed that every day near closing time, they send all the money that is in the register to a nearby bank, through the hands of a young messenger. He carries the suitcase of cash and makes his way through the crowded streets to the bank. If he could only get his hands on that suitcase of cash! But the boy would not let go of it, the street was crowded with people, and the walk to the bank was short.
The thief almost gave up on his plans, when an idea occurred to him. On the way, between the trading house and the bank, was an expensive clothing store. The thief put on his best clothes, came to the store and introduced himself. “I am a clerk for a rich guy. He wants to buy an elite suit, an elegant and tailored one.”
“If so, you have come to the right place,” the store owner told him.
“Yes, indeed,” the thief answered. “But you should know, he has no time to come and try it on, he wants me to bring him a ready made suit…”
Now the owner was confused. “How can I know what his size is?” There was silence, but then the thief said, “I have an idea. We will stand at the entrance of the store and I will examine all the passersby. When I’ll notice someone whose size is similar to my boss’s, I will tell you, and you should try the suit on him!”
They did so. They stood and examine the crowd, and suddenly the thief cried out: “There, that young boy!” It was the young messenger, who was making his way to the bank. The store owner made his way towards the boy, turned to him and asked, “Excuse me, maybe you’ll agree to try on a nice suit?”
To try on a nice suit, why not? He entered the store and the owner chose a nice suit. The boy stood by the mirror, and the store owner helped him try it on. He left the suitcase down for a minute at his feet in order to wear the suit, and the thief bent over in a hurried move, took the suitcase and slipped outside.
“Thief!” the young boy yelled, and hurried to run after him. But here the owner held on to him and didn’t let him leave his store!
“Let go!” the boy groaned, “He will disappear with the suitcase and I will never find him!”
“That’s not my problem,” the store owner told him, “But you are wearing my suit, and I will not let you go until you take it off.”
And in the meantime, as expected, the thief disappeared.
And the moral of the story? Rosh Hashana is such a set day, so fateful. All the events of the coming year are placed on the scale! Life, health, nahat (satisfaction, fulfillment), livelihood, everything!
What does the Yetzer Hara (Evil Inclination) do, when he wants to confuse us, so that we should lose the great and holy days, the lofty and spiritual point in time, so that we shouldn’t pray as is expected, a prayer from the depths of the heart that will storm the heavens. He confuses us with a “suit” which restricts us. Meaning, all the unimportant matters that bother us during the course of the year and prevent us from entering a state of fear for the Day of Judgment; it distracts us from praying and connecting properly.
How happy was that boy, if only he wouldn’t have entered the store to try on the suit. He didn’t stay focused on his duty and responsibility; he should have gone straight to the bank! Or at least, he should have taken off the suit right when the suitcase was stolen!
This is our job during the month of Elul, not to get distracted from our service of Hashem, and try to make new, serious commitments and a new set of discipline, set a strong foundation that would guarantee us a peaceful and happy year.
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