Rav Birzansky - Sukkos
As Moishy gazed at his arba minim during Hallel, he noticed that his aravos were crying.
“What is wrong, my dear aravos?” Moishy asked in concern.
“We are sad because the hadassim have such a beautiful smell and we don’t have a smell at all. Why didn’t Hashem make us like the beautiful-smelling hadassim?”
Now Moishy looked at the hadassim. He couldn’t believe his eyes, but they were also sad. “What is wrong, my dear hadassim?” he asked.
“It isn’t fair. Why did Hashem make the lulav’s leaves so nice and tall and our leaves so little and round? We want to be the tallest.” The lulav wanted to be the esrog, and, believe it or not, the esrog felt lonely.
“It makes me so sad to see everybody else having fun without me,” cried the esrog. “Why am I always the one that has to be left out?” Moishy turned to his arba minim and told them that they had it all wrong.
“Don’t you know that Hashem picked you from all the thousands of trees and bushes in the world?
“Hadassim, your leaves were picked because of their shape; they resemble a person’s eye. And Hashem picked you, esrog, because you represent the tzaddikim, who have to be separated from the klal at times.
“My wonderful arba minim, don’t be sad because you are not somebody else; be happy because of who you are. Hashem made every single one of you special and unique, and it is because of your uniqueness that you were chosen to be part of the arba minim.”
How often do we find ourselves using other people’s measuring sticks? If we hear the words “Yaakov is smarter than I am” or “Yossi has more friends than I do” ringing in our ears, we must remind ourselves that we are not Yaakov or Yossi. We are ourselves and Hashem made us just the way we are supposed to be. Somehow, we borrowed Yaakov and Yossi’s measuring stick, and we left ours behind.
Every Jew is special and has something that only he or she can give to the world. Every Jew has his or her personal kiddush Hashem that nobody else can ever make. Discover yours and make it beautiful.