Stuck in the Mud on the Way to the Wedding

Stuck in the Mud on the Way to the Wedding
Last night, my daughter’s best friend, Aidel, got married in Kfar Chabad. I’d planned to attend, but here’s what happened instead.
For various reasons, instead of taking the wedding bus, I decided to take a later public bus to a parking lot that Google Maps claimed was a mere 22-minute walk from the wedding hall.
But when I reached that parking lot, I realized that that 22-minute estimate was misleadingly based on the presumption that the person following the directions doesn’t walk in the completely wrong direction, end up in the next town over from Kfar Chabad (I got suspicious when the first “Kfar Chabad” resident I came across was wearing a sweatsuit and walking a dog that reached up to my elbow).
That aforementioned man guided me to the edge of “Kfar Chabad,” and motioned into the darkness as he instructed me to walk “very very far” across the orange-tree orchards. But things really turned south, literally and figuratively, when I was making my way (I hoped!) to Kfar Chabad, and the wavy earth gave way underneath my feet and swallowed up my boots. And (a little further south) when I lost my balance and fell. The first image that came to mind was Gilligan stuck in quicksand calling out, “Professor, Professor, save me!” But thank G-d, my mud wasn’t sit-com deep, and only my boots and hands were stuck with muck as I stood on the ground on all fours.
At that point, I realized that despite my valiant efforts, I could not show up at a wedding in my current state. I was not sure if I would even be allowed back on a bus looking like I looked! So waiting for the bus, I scraped off as much mud as I could with some old face masks I found crumpled at the bottom of my purse and it was dark enough b”H that the bus driver didn’t seem to notice what I disastrous state I was in.
Back on the bus, feeling worn out and disappointed and my feet wet and freezing, I remembered a Chassidic story that managed to cheer me up a bit.
Once there was an evil man who performed only one single good deed in his whole life: assisting a stranger to upright his horse and wagon after they had fallen over on the road. When that evil man died, the defending angels placed that righted horse and wagon on the empty pan dangling from the Heavenly scale. And then those same angels insisted on adding the mud and muck that that evil man had lifted because they’d been stuck to the wheels of that fallen carriage.
So too, despite my best efforts, I missed out on the wedding and the mitzvah of attending one. But, like every single time I try and fail, that mud, my failed but determined effort, are mine to keep for eternity.

One comment

  1. Mina Esther Gordon

    This would be a great experience to tell your kids and touch upon the advantage in taking the well-trodden path.
    It is quite a striking Moshel for the descent of the neshama to this world!

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