Sukkot by Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron בס"ד
Discover the Holy Presence in the Holy Land
The heart is filled with joy as we have come close to Hashem during the Ten Days of Repentance and as we enter “the time of our joy,” the holiday of Sukkot. Essentially. We can see the Sukka as a continuation of the repentance through awe during the Days of Awe, and now this repentance takes the form of joy. Literally, the word “kippuer” in the name Yom Kippur means covering, just as the “kaporet” “covers the Ark, mentioned especially in context of the Service of the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur. This “covering” is essentially the meaning of repentance and atonement where we take “covering” from Divine attribute of judgment by entering a new state of being and elevated “location” of mind through repentance, thereby achieving atonement which supplies us this “covering” of Divine mercy. Therefore, the “covering” of the schach of the Sukka, a covering that is pure, simplistic and “humble” in nature, growing from the earth, is essentially a continuation of the humble nature of repentance we have already begun and taken “coverage” within. This joy of repentance is accentuated with the mitzvah of the four species, about which the Torah adds a special commandment to rejoice specifically in the Beit HaMikdash – “and you shall rejoice before Hashem your God (the Beit HaMikdash) for seven days.” The Beit Hamikdash is the ultimate “coverage” where we are covered by the presence of the Holy Presence. True joy is achieved in connection with the Holy Presence, which illuminates the soul and allows it to perceive the Providence of Hashem upon all of the earth. However, this Presence is encountered more frequently in our Holy Land, especially in the Beit HaMikdash.
“Rejoicing before Hashem” in the Beit HaMikdash has halachic ramifications as well, such as the fact that a biblical obligation exists to take the four species all seven days of Succot there, in contrast to other locations, where the obligation on the rest of the days is by rabbinic law alone. Another application of this mitzvah of rejoicing is the halachic obligation to display joy through music and dancing in the Beit HaMikdash during the days of Chol HaMoed Sukkot, known as the “Simchat Beit Hashoeva,” the celebration of the water drawing, a practice commemorated in many communities today with celebrations on Sukkot featuring music and dancing.
Yet another ramification of the superiority of the Beit Mikdash on Sukkot is the obligation to take the four species in the Beit HaMikdash even on Shabbat, an act that is forbidden in other locations. In addition, when the Beit HaMikdash was standing, the four species were taken on the first day of Sukkot that falls on Shabbat in the entire Land of Israel, which was not so in the Diaspora (Rambam, Hilchot Lulav 7:16).
We have seen that joy is uniquely connected to the Beit HaMikdash, but how is rejoicing also linked to the taking of the four species? Joy is the feeling of the revelation of the soul inside one’s being. However, in many cases, a singular and sudden “lightening” of this “revelation” will easily be enveloped by darkness and forgotten. But when we consider all of these “sparks” of “revelation” as one unit and unite them together, we may notice that there is a constancy and truth inherent in this “revelation,” causing one to be consistently aware of them and illuminated by them, thereby giving one lasting joy. This “unity” of sparks of light is alluded to through the mitzvah of taking the four species, as uniting different species represents different “sparks” of holiness, thereby bringing one to a feeling of joy.
In this way, Hebron yet again acts as “the key to Jerusalem,” for Hebron reminds us that we all stem from the same roots, a notion that can help to bring unity to our People. Once unity is achieved, our souls are illuminated by each other, allowing for the great light of the Holy Presence, especially in the Beit HaMikdash, to illuminate the entire earth with its joy.
Real Miracles: Continuation from last week:
Sharon (a man) Nachshoni continues to tell the story of what he saw during the period of 17 minutes he was considered clinically dead: “Every mitzvah was counted, checked and examined; even mitzvoth that seem small, you cannot imagine how great the reward is there [in the World to Come]. You can’t imagine how great is the mitzvah of tzitzit gives benefit there, Above, how much it helped me in those moments of judgment! Everything is brought, nothing is forgotten… The “good voice” talked in how I honor the Shabbat, a [living] Rabbi talked in my favor how I honor my wife, how I also gladden a bride and groom, and other good deeds… There was also a beggar who talked in favor of Sharon who gave him charity. Then a widowed woman, who was a distant relative of Sharon, talked in favor of Sharon, testifying about an act of kindness Sharon performed for her secretly than no one knew about. Sharon said that he has no doubt that the voice of this widow was the deed that shifted the Heavenly “balance” in his favor, and that he should return back to his body alive!”
Source: “Hahayim Sheleachar Hamavet” R. Yitzhak Halamish pp. 53-56