I knew that everything that Elochim made, that will be forever; we cannot add to it, nor can we subtract from it; and Elochim made it so that they should fear have fear before Him. (Koheles 3:14)
On Sukkos we read from the Book of Koheles which is written by the wisest of all men, King Solomon. Who knows, we might benefit from listening well to his words. Even a single line might prove life altering if appreciated deeply. Just as the Sukkah itself is designed to reorient us to the ultimate realities of life, so too a few choice words from King Solomon can serve to bring everything into focus.
The Sefer Chovos HaLevavos builds the entire Chapter of Inspection on the partial verse, “Elochim made it so they should have fear before him.” What is it that HASHEM made they we should fear Him? The answer is, “EVERYTHING!” That’s the beginning of a revolution in thought in how we view and experience all the stuff of life. The purpose of anything and everything that was created, macro and micro, and in between is that we can gain a profound sense of awe and awareness of G-d.
When one goes to an art museum to study the works of a certain artist, his talent shines through and his signature is recognizable in every piece. Chana declared when celebrating the birth of Shmuel, “There is no (Tzur) rock like our G-d!” The Talmud plays with the word Tzur and discovers a new meaning. There is no Tziar- Artist like our G-d! He is the greatest artist! His artwork is on display all over the world.
Wherever we cast our glance, and inspecting eye, there can be discovered a hint of the overwhelming greatness of the artist of all artists Himself.
Avraham Avinu started on this path 3700 years ago, and with his original mind, it led him to conclude with certainty that we are sitting in a designer Sukkah and the exact purpose of that design is to attract our attention and inspire ultimate curiosity and an overpowering awe. What is the matrix? How are we to study a thing? Simple as a dimple! Five areas of criteria suffice for now. We are looking for an exhibition of 1) Power 2) Wisdom 3) Kindliness 4) Purpose 5) Unity. That’s all!
Consider the Periodic Table of Elements. Everything in the physical universe, you and me and the air between us is made up of some combination of stuff listed there. All the various elements from Hydrogen to Uranium, from the lightest gas to the heavy metals is all composed of the very same stuff with differing densities of neutrons and protons and electrons orbiting at various valences. When you open up any one of them oceans of sublime energy comes pouring out. At the core is a rich concentration of the same pure power. Appreciate please that power, wisdom, kindliness, purpose, and unity are on open display.
While driving to where we would spend Yom Kippur, my daughter and I found ourselves enamored by the rich display of color and the pageantry of the fall leaves. I reminded her of a simple point which we immediately fact checked. Only humans experience the full range of colors that paint our world. A few creatures see weakly one or two colors but most are looking at a black and white picture. Why is an orange orange? The organization of those millions rods and cones that give us access to color is there solely for our benefit, to attract our attention, to recognize the greatness of the Artist through His art, to develop a burning passion to know that Artist even more and to draw even closer.