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A Gift with a Purpose: Sukkos

Receiving an expensive gift can often make you want to showcase it and keep it in pristine condition for all to admire. When I turned 13, my parents gifted me tefillin, one of the most valuable presents I have ever received. A few years down the line, I called my mother to explain that I used it so much that it needed repairs. Instead of the disappointment I feared, she was proud. And when I expected to be held accountable for the damage, she graciously offered to cover the costs. Later in my life, I thought back to this moment and realized that it seems like a contradiction - why would someone feel proud when their gift was broken?

A few years ago, during the holiday of Sukkos, I visited my family in North Miami Beach. During my stay, I participated in "Mivtzo'im" with my friends in a nearby city. These "Mivtza" campaigns, initiated by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, aim to promote good deeds like Tefillin, Mezuzah, Shabbat candles, and Lulav. As we walked the streets of this city, I couldn't help but notice how nice my friend's Lulav looked. Especially as it was only the first day of the holiday, and he was the sole one to have shaken it thus far. However, as the day unfolded, his Lulav gradually deteriorated due to use until it was barely considered Kosher.

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