Monday, November 21, 2011

A Crown of Shoes

It was the morning after Simchat Torah, and the Jews slumbered on, exhausted from the festive dancing with the Torahs. In Heaven, meanwhile, the angels waited, since they can’t sing hymns and praises to G-d until we do. As time ticked by, the angels decided to do some house-cleaning in Heaven.
As they did so, they found puzzling objects they didn’t recognize. These mystery objects were made of all sorts of material — felt, leather, plastic, even birch-bark and metal. The angels were used to finding mitzvah-objects in Heaven, like tefillin and Shabbat candlesticks, but never…these.

“Let’s ask the Archangel Michael. Maybe he knows.”
They schlepped their bulging sacks over to Michael. Sure enough, he knew all about it.
“Yes, this is my merchandise.” Pulling one out of a bag, he said, “This worn-out loafer belongs to a boy from Kansas who danced hakafot last night; these ripped cowboy boots are from a Texan who celebrated his first Simchat Torah ever…

These frayed tiny mary-janes came from the tiny feet of a little girl who also celebrated her first Simchat Torah. And this wheel is from the wheelchair of guy who never misses a Simchat Torah, and dances his way, rejoicing with the Torah.  They’ve all served their wearers well, and have now made their way to heaven!”
The angels stared. “What are you going to do with all these torn shoes?”
“I’m going to make a crown for G-d.”
“With scuffed and torn shoes?”
“Yep,” Michael boasts. “And it’s going to be even more beautiful than the crown Metat makes out of the Jews’ prayers.”
Adapted from Keter Shem Tov 114, by the Baal Shem Tov

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