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Tuesday
Mar072017

GALUS IS JUST A COSTUME

By D Chaim

All my friends are already preparing their costumes for the contest at the school’s Purim party. I am still deciding. To be more precise, I am still looking for what to dress up as. What is the problem, you wonder? Do I lack ideas for costumes?

The thing is, I am looking for the most original costume. All my sisters have been enlisted and are trying to come up with original ideas, but I have nixed all of them. No “Geula Clock,” no “Tree in the Time of Moshiach,” and no “Midget on Giant’s Shoulders.” These are all nice ideas but it is possible, and likely, that someone picked them already.

When I realized that the party was going to happen quite soon, I had no choice but to dress up as a letter. Yes, one letter out of the 22 letters of the Alef-Beis. I am sure nobody thought of that. My mother gave me a nice amount of money and I happily went off to the craft store where you can find materials to make your own costume. I enjoyed perusing the shelves, smelling the various smells, and I chose the items according to a list that I made with my mother.

I had a lot of work to do in the remaining days. My mother sketched the outline on the oak tag and I cut it out carefully. After my mother glued the parts together and the shape of the letter was ready, I put glitter on it which made it shine and turned it into a special costume.

The truth is that I enjoyed creating it no less than wearing it, but the results were definitely outstanding and I was sure I would win one of the top prizes in the competition. You are probably wondering what letter I dressed up as. The truth is that with this too, I was undecided until I finally picked the letter alef for the simple reason that it is first.

On the day of the party, I carefully took the costume out of the closet and tenderly put it on. On the special pants that I wore, on the part that stuck out of the large letter, my mother stuck on many little alefs. On my face she used a special marker to draw a large alef. My hands stuck out of the sides of the letter whose size covered nearly all of me, and my little brothers danced around me and exclaimed, “Alef, happy Purim! Can you turn around Alef?”

When I went up the steps of the school’s auditorium while wearing my costume, I noticed that the way was blocked. I went over and saw a very large ball. Where did it come from? Maybe it belongs to the magician who is going to perform at the party, I thought. Rather than trying on moving it, I tried passing through the narrow space between it and the door and went inside. I sat down in an empty place and waited impatiently with my friends for the program to begin.

The principal began the assembly by asking everyone who wanted to be part of the contest to raise their hand. Then he had those in costume go up on the stage. Out of the corner of my eye I could see something familiar rolling toward the stage. Yes, it was the big ball that had blocked the way.

One minute – we’re having a contest now, not the magician’s show, I thought. Then I suddenly realized that the principal was calling me to the stage. I felt very excited, knowing that my costume was one of the best and that I was on my way to winning.

I got up and walked toward the stage. Then, I guess from being so excited, I tripped on the leg of one of the boys and nearly fell. I was afraid I would get hurt and was especially nervous about my costume getting ruined. Instinctively, I grabbed the first thing I could reach.

Uh oh. I heard a ripping sound. I did not have time to figure out where it came from because it was with difficulty that I straightened myself up. Then I looked up and couldn’t believe my eyes. The big ball, that I had noticed earlier, was none other than a boy in costume!

But now, he was no longer disguised. Half of his costume was torn and dragged behind him on the ground. “Oy vay, what did I do?”

The boy was stunned. He went over to the principal in tears and told him what happened. I wasn’t afraid; I knew I hadn’t done it on purpose, so I also went over to the principal and said, “I did not realize it was a boy’s costume. I thought it was a big magician’s ball or something like that. If I had known, I would have been more careful, even if it meant that my own costume would have torn.”

The principal thought for a moment and then asked the boy, “What were you dressed up as?”

The boy said, “I love to play with marbles, so I dressed up like a big marble.”

That’s when I understood the colors on the marble costume that a few minutes ago had been so beautiful.

“You know what,” suggested the principal, “I will include you in the contest anyway and you will stand in such a way that only the side of your costume that is not torn will show.”

Then the contest got underway. The classes voted and when it was the turn of the highest class, it turned out that their vote would declare the winner. Both the other boy, whose name was Yisroel, and I, got many votes and were tensely awaiting the results.

Then everyone saw whispering going on among the eighth graders and when they voted, it was a tie between me and Yisroel. We were both so surprised and the principal waited for an explanation.

One of the boys, apparently the one who came up with the idea, said, “There is a reason we made it a tie. The microphone was on before, and we all heard what happened to the marble costume. It was also hard to miss that it wasn’t intact.

“Then I thought, this story contains an interesting idea and it was because of this that we decided to make it a tie between Mendel and Yisroel.

“We all know that the Rebbe says that the Geula will not cancel anything that we have in galus. On the contrary, it only reveals the true reality of everything as it is freed from its exile and it is apparent that its source is G-dliness. And that is what happened here …

“Mendel is dressed up like the letter alef which stands for Alufo shel Olam – Master of the World, Hashem. And Yisroel is dressed up like a marble which represents galus. When the alef enters the word gola, meaning, when Hashem is revealed in the world, what results is the Geula, because Geula does not get rid of it; it just removes the costume and shows what it truly is.”

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