Thursday, October 1, 2009

195 - Sukkos

The Rambam writes (Hilchos Lulav 8, 12) “Even though there is a mitzvah to have simcha on every Yom Tov, there was an added element of simcha in the Bais Hamikdosh on Sukkos”. What was responsible for this extra aspect of joy?

Rav Wolbe (Alei Shur vol. II pg. 452) explains; Chazal (Sukka 53a) tell us that during the simchas bais hashoavah which took place in the Bais Hamikdosh on Sukkos, Hillel would declare, “If I am here then all are here, and if I am not here who is here?” Tosfos explains that he was speaking in the name the entire nation. When Bnei Yisroel are unified in their service of Hashem, it can be considered as if Hashem is present in this world. As the pasuk states, “And He was King in Yeshurun” When? “When the leaders gathered together and the tribes of Yisrael were united.” The purpose of creation is for there to be those who accept the yoke of Hashem’s kingship, and this is actualized when Bnei Yisroel gather together in His service.

The seforim ha’kedoshim write that all of the Yomim Tovim throughout the month of Tishrei are aimed toward building the spiritual configuration of Bnei Yisroel. On Sukkos, we complete the final step by “putting up the walls” of Hashem’s sukkas shalom that has sheltered Bnei Yisroel through the generations. The unique simcha on Sukkos is a result of the culmination of our spiritual makeup that began with our acceptance of Hashem’s Kingship on Rosh Hashana: There is a nation who accepted the yoke of Hashem, and hence an opportunity for Him to bestow His goodness on the representatives of humanity and take them under His wing of protection. If so, the purpose of creation has been fulfilled. Could there be a greater reason than this to be b’simcha? Albeit that we do not have the Bais Hamikdosh and the same level of hashra’as ha’Shechina, nevertheless, through our sukkahs which culminate our acceptance of Hashem’s Kingship, we are able to replicate to a major extent the heightened level of kedusha and rejoice during the Yom Tov of Sukkos.

As we spend the next week in the Sukkah in a joyous atmosphere, let us bear in mind the impetus for the simcha and the reason this world was created.

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