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Shabbat Nugget: Sukkot

As we continue the cycle of the holiday season, the next stop will be Sukkot.  The holiday of Sukkot is the most joyous of all the holidays and culminates with Simchas Torah when we dance with the Torah scrolls. In the time of the holy Temple in Jerusalem there were great celebrations in the temple on the nights of Sukkot with song and dancing. In our times this custom has continued in many Jewish communities throughout the world.

Chassidic philosophy teaches that all the spiritual light and revelation of the days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur drawn down in a mode of awe and reverence is drawn down again on Sukkot through the mode of joy and love.  This can be seen in the mitzvah of Sukkah.  The covering of the Sukkah called the schach corresponds to the cloud of incense which rose from the incense the high priest brought in to the holiest part of the Temple on Yom Kippur.  Also, the famous Kabbalist, the Arizal teaches that a Sukkah is kosher with two complete walls and a third smaller wall.  (Although it is preferable to have four complete walls.)  This he says corresponds to the three sections of the finger with the tip of the finger corresponding to the third smaller wall.  He continues to say that this is the hand of Hashem which embraces us on Sukkot as the verse states, “My right hand will embrace you”.

May you have a most joyous Sukkot holiday!

About Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner is the Rabbi of Boulder County Center for Judaism. In addition, he teaches extensively throughout Boulder County and is the author of "Finding the Joy in Everyday Living," a book of short chapters explaining the ways to access happiness through appreciation, gratitude, and a sense of purpose.

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