Sunday, October 16, 2016

Succos - After Yom Kippur - Anti-Cold-Climate - Released From Prison‏

Shallloommmmm sweeeetest friends!!!

This Dvar Torah should be a zchus for my most beloved friend and chavrusa from decades past R' Eytan Feldman. He and his family should experience limitless joy and success in all that they do.

It should also be a zchus for my present-and-past-long-distance-skype-chavrusas in the "Yeshiva G'dola D'skype" [name coined by Rabbi Akiva Balk Shlita]. They keep me connected to them and Torah. It is one of the highlights of my life.

How CRAZY exciting! Tonight we enter our mini beis hamikdash that we call a succah [see Succah 9 - שם שמים חל על הסוכה] and host AVRAHAM AVINU!!! This year I have the VERY SPECIAL zchus to spend Succos in ISRAEL!!! About the 40th in a row but I try not to take it for granted. I hope you are here too but if you are not, fear not - the sefarim that that the Succah is a בחינה - a small taste of Eretz Yisrael [and the Beis Hamikdash as we mentioned].

7 [or 8] days of SIMCCHHHHAAAAAAAAAA, food, song, more food and more song. Tfillah, shaking the four heretics [ארבע מינים?] until we make them frum, yet more food and a slumber party with all the guys, uncles and ants [although without the aunts - li-havdil] in our Tabernacle hut - followed by a meal. Some tiyulim thrown in and מ'לעבט א טאג - that's the life.

What, may I ask, is Succos, a time of unbridled joy, doing after the serious and somber day of Yom Kippur?? Sort of anti-climactic [I am "anti-cold-climate" which is why I live in a tropical middle eastern desert town called [by the UN] "Palestine". I was thinking of Miami, a suburb of Israel, but then "Matthew" convinced me otherwise...] to say the least.

Let us examine.....

In the Hallel that we will be singing for seven days with our vegetation in hand [it might look like a lemon but no lemon costs a hundred bucks] we say אודך ה' כי עניתני ותהי לי לישועה - I will thank you Hashem that you answered me and were a salvation for me.

It could also mean "I will thank you Hashem that you afflicted me [עינוי is affliction and suffering] and were a salvation for me".

Thanks Hashem for suffering?? Thanks but no thanks!!:-). I'll take a rain check [or if I am lucky - a fat check:-)].

Ahhhhaaaaaaa! The pasuk calls Yom Kippur a day of affliction [ועניתם את נפשותיכם]. We are thanking Hashem for Yom Kippur!!! Thank you Hashem for the suffering of Yom Kippur. This is borne out but the continuation of the pasuk "ותהי לי לישועה". Chazal say on the pasuk לדוד ה' אורי וישעי that אורי is Rosh Hashana and ישעי is Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is our day of salvation.

We were imprisoned by our sins and Hashem freed us from incarceration!!:-). As the pasuk says והוא יפדה את ישראל מכל עוונותיו - He REDEEMS us from our sins that had us in captivity. Yom Kippur is indeed the day of salvation. When Succos comes around we realize that we only merit these great days of simcha [the Rambam says that Succos is the HAPPIEST time of year - even more than Yom Haatzmaut!!] BECAUSE we had the Divinely imposed infliction. That was the cleansing process that had to proceed our days of joy.

That also sheds light on the pasuk ושאבתם מים בששון ממעיני הישועה - We will draw water with joy from the springs of salvation. The simcha of the Simchas Beis Hashoeva [the joy of drawing the water] is from the springs of ישועה i.e. Yom Kippur.

It is only after we have been cleansed by Yom Kippur [literally "day of cleansing" - see Gittin 56a בעי לכפורי ידיו] that we can experience the joy of Succos. It is also only after the cleansing of Yom Kippur that we merit sitting in Hashem's shade צלא דמהימנותא - the shadow of faith.

I take this as a paradigm for life [despite that fact that people refuse to let on that there is a "g" in the word when they say it]. It is ONLY after עינוי, some suffering and hard times, that we can truly rejoice. הזורעים בדמעה - Those who plant with a tear, ברינה יקצורו - will reap with joy.

So if anything is getting you down, you must know that you are only being prepared for a ישועה that you never imagined. It is therefore critical to keep that in mind in order to sweeten [המתקה - in Kabbalese] the rough times.

With much love and wishes for a SPEEDY salvation in any area where you seek one,

A FRIELICHIN CHAG. Hope to see you....

Bi-ahava rabba,