As we stand at the threshold of the New Year 5,776, it is appropriate to discuss the uniqueness of this new year.
This year, the year after the Sabbatical year, the Torah tells us that on the year following a Sabbatical year on the Holiday of Sukkot, all men, women and children should gather in the Temple and the king should read to them select portions of the Torah. Together, the entire Jewish nation would instill in the hearts of the Jewish people a new level of awe of G-d. This commandment is called Hakhel (gathering ) and thus this year is called Shnas Hakhel, a year of gathering.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe taught that although we presently don’t have the Temple and therefore do not fulfill this commanment in the Temple, the commandment is still in effect in the spiritual sense. He therefore urged people to focus on making gatherings of Jewish people in this year and at those gatherings teach Torah or do a different Mitzvah together. He also urged Jewish schools and organizations to make more get-togethers of their members in this year. May this mitzvah of Hakhel usher in the complete gathering of the Jewish people in the Third Temple with the coming of Moshiach speedily in our days.
PS. I would like to invite you to join us at our Rosh Hashonah Services at Boulder Center for Judaism. Call (303) 494 1638 or visit Boulderjudaism.com.