OBSERVATIONS OF AN AUFRUF

OBSERVATIONS OF AN AUFRUF

11/3/99

We take the Lulav and Esrog with fervor, we say out loud “Shema Yisroel” on Yom Kippur and bang the Hoshanos with vigor on Hoshanna Rabbah while fulfilling the essence of what the mitzvah and the minhag is all about.

Then there are the Minhagim where we take our full body and soul and turn it into a little beyond excessive and make sure that the mitzvah or Minhag is performed with such vigor that it often causes machlokos. Such an event may be described as “The Aufruf!” The minhag yisroel is to throw candy bags at the chosson on the shabbos before the wedding. The reasons are many and is at best a symbol towards a life filled with sweetness and many children.

Then, there is the warm-up to the event. Spring training begins shabbos morning with a few warm up throws, and perhaps a few throws in the hallways. Maybe we can select a kid and practice throwing the bags against his head. Then there’s the weigh in with the bags itself. If its not heavy enough perhaps combining two bags in one, or better yet, maybe put a small size rock in it. Of course all in the realms of doing the Minhag properly.

Then comes the wind up and the pitch. Some throw theirs right away to try to hit the chosson smack on the face before he has a chance to go for cover, then there are those who stand in front of him and wait till he comes up for air and then “WHAP!” smack right in the mouth, all of course while we are laughing, smiling and singing. There are those who wait till the throwing stops altogether and then throw a bag and aim for the head. Aim, like in accurate measurement of distance between the thrower and the bimah. If a bystander gets hit instead of the chosson, well that seems to just add more excitement. Of course all this is done Lishma, to fulfill the great minhag yisroel.

You may ask yourself what lessons could we possibly learn from this? Perhaps we can take the vigor and involvement and instead use it to do other great Minhagim, like preparing for Pesach. Cleaning the house Lishma, anticipating the coming of this unique holiday Lishma and yes, perhaps, getting carried away by helping others get ready for Pesach. This week, let us go out and help ourselves and others get ready for Pesach. Not just clean, clean with enthusiasm, call people and make sure they have a place for Yom Tov. During this coming week, do the minhag of hachana, of 30 days before the chag preparation, and do it with the same vigor and Simcha as throwing a fastball of a three bagger loaded candy bag.

Thank you Tommy.