The Sukkah: Heaven and Earth

“And ye shall keep it a feast unto HaShem seven days in the year; it is a statute for ever in your generations; ye shall keep it in the seventh month. Ye shall dwell in sukkot seven days; all that are home-born in Israel shall dwell in sukkot; that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in sukkot, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am HaShem your G-d.”

Our sages disagree as to the meaning of the verse, “that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in sukkot.” According to Rabbi Eliezer, the word sukkot refers to the Clouds of Glory with which God protected the Jews. Rabbi Akiva teaches that it refers to the actual booths that they lived in during their time in the wilderness.

The understood principle in all such disagreements is “these and these are the words of living Torah.”

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Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur, the Festival of Freedom

Yom KippurYom Kippur, the holiest day of the year is marked by great intensity fervor and meditation. While it is true that the gates of the Divine Palace are always accessible to each individual every day of the year, nevertheless the gates are there, the guards are in place and the moat encircles the Palace. That is to say that “Life” and all of its continual flow continues to place obstacles in our way in our attempt to find the way within our soul , into the heavenly palace.

On these Days of Awe, the “King” is in the field. He is (metaphorically speaking) standing in the spot where we are standing and is within easy reach. As we reach the final day of the ten days of Awe the urgency of the moment overtakes of and the sense of the “closing  of the gates” seizes our hearts  in its dramatic grip.

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