Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Sukkos

Sweat, Tears, Toil & Love

Yomim Noraim ( the 'High Holy days') are always a most uplifting experience at Ohr Somayach. Standing shoulder to shoulder with other mispallelim in the packed bais medrash as we pray for a good year, one has an inkling of what it was like in the times of the Bais Hamikdosh when hundreds of thousands of people converged in the Temple courtyard. Our sages tell us that they stood 'tzefufuim,' cramped like sardines and yet, when the time came for them to prostrate themselves, there was suddenly ample space for everyone. Was this due to miraculous Divine intervention? Undoubtedly. However, one might also explain this phenomenon on a psychological level.

The Torah teaches us the mitzvah of Hakheil. Every seventh year, the entire nation was commanded to ascend to Jerusalem. Not a soul remained behind. In every corner of the land millions of people made the jubilant journey to rejoice on the festival of Sukkos in Jerusalem. Today, we can actually see at the excavations of 'Ir Dovid,' the remnants of the city walls that surrounded Jerusalem in those days. The entire city is no more than a square mile and a half. How was there room for everybody? It boggles the mind to picture the spectacle. Millions of people without air conditioning, bathroom facilities, garbage pickup service! The streets must have resembled a solid moving mass of sweaty, agitated humanity. What an ordeal it must have been.

Yet, remarkably, the sages tell us that, on the contrary, that no man ever complained in Jerusalem about the lack of space! The people were unperturbed by their meager accommodations. Perhaps there was an element of the miraculous that unfolded in Jerusalem at that time. But, on an essential level, the Jewish people were simply ecstatic and filled with the joy of being in the presence of their Creator. When one is in an ecstatic frame of mind, suffused with happiness and gratitude for being able to be present at the most sublime moments of the year, the physical conditions don't matter.

When each one cares for the other, there is enough for all. As our sages tell us, when a husband and wife are devoted to one another, they can both sleep "on the edge of a knife" but when there is no unity, even a palace will not suffice. Even if one is in the east wing and the other in the west wing, there is no room for comfort. However, when we stand together in harmony and are focused on helping one another, there is always enough to go around. When happiness, appreciation and love prevail, physical shortcomings simply do not play a role.

Wishing you a joyous chag and may soon all be reunited in Yerushalayim with Moshiach Tzidkeinu.

Sincerely

Rabbi Naftali Reich


Text Copyright 2013 by Rabbi Naftali Reich and Torah.org.

Rabbi Reich is on the faculty of the Ohr Somayach Tanenbaum Education Center.


 

ARTICLES ON BESHALACH AND TU BESHVAT:

View Complete List

The Great Song
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771

I Am a Soul
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Like a GPS
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

> Seeing the Hand of God
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

An Eloquent Silence
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5769

Erev Rav: Return to Sender
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Closer to the Source
Rabbi Label Lam - 5760

Insight Into An Age Old Dilemma
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

The Reason the Jews were not led through the Land of the Plishtim
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Taking Matters Into One's Own Hands
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5767

A Seamless Integration On A Higher Plane
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5774

Leap of Faith
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

ArtScroll

Following Orders
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5762

A Time to Sing
Shlomo Katz - 5774

Name That Tune
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5757

Moments of Inspiration
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information