Dear Friend,

The story is told about a Chassidic Rebbe who would go to great lengths and expenses to obtain the most beautiful etrog available in order to perform the mitzvah in the best possible manner every Sukkot.

Each day of the holiday, after he himself would perform the mitzvah of taking the Four Kinds, it was his custom to allow others to use his lulav and etrog as well. Many would avail themselves of this privilege.

One day, after the rabbi’s etrog was returned to him all battered and stained by hundreds of hands, he was asked: “Why do you allow so many people to use your etrog? Look at what’s happened to it! It has lost its hiddur, its beauty!”

“Why,” the Rabbi replied, “this is the most beautiful etrog in the world! What greater beauty can there be for an etrog than the fact that hundreds of Jews have performed a mitzvah with it?”

The lesson is clear. If you have your own set of Four Kinds, beautify it by helping another Jew perform the mitzvah. And if you don’t yet have your own set, contact your local Chabad rabbi to either obtain a set or help beautify his!

Rabbi Yehuda Shurpin
on behalf of the Editorial Team