Revach L'Neshama RSS feed for - Section: MOADIM Category:SUCCOS Copyright 2007, Revach L'Neshama en-US Revach L'Neshama Logo 144 31 Fri, 03 Dec 2021 03:00:00 +0000 240 Vilna Gaon - The Kingdom Of Yishmael Gets A One Day Reprieve

On Succos each day we bring Parim, oxen for a Korban. On the first day we start with 13 and bring one less each successive day, for a total of 70. We also bring other korbanos with them, including a Sa'ir or goat for a Chatos. On the first two days the Torah calls this goat a S'ir Izim. On the third just plain Sa'ir. The on the fourth once again it is called S'ir Izim with the rest of the days it only calls it a Sa'ir. Why the different term on these particular days?

It is said in the name of Vilna Gaon that we know the 70 oxen represent the seventy nations who will ultimately cease to hold power over us. The two chief nations are Yishmael and Edom which is Eisav. Each of them head a contingent of 35 nations apiece. Yishmael is called S'ir Izim and Eisav Sa'ir.

First we bring korbanos for the 35 nations of Yishmael since as the son of Avrohom Avinu he goes first. The first two days we bring 13 and 12 oxen respectively for a total of 25, and we also bring a S'ir izim. Being that Yishmael only has ten more left and the third day when we bring 11 which would be too many for Yishmael, we bring it for Eisav instead together with the Sa'ir. The fourth day we bring 10 oxen and a S'ir Izim to finish up Yishmael. The rest of the days are for Eisav and we a bring a Sa'ir.

May Hashem speedily redeem his beloved little lamb from among the nations Bimheira BiYameinu Amein.

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Hoshana Rabba: Aravos - A Businessman's Kiss For Good Luck

The Menoras HaMaor, who lived around four hundred years ago, says that keeping a leaf from the Aravos of the Hoshanos is a segula for travelers, especially business travelers.

We find the first segula in the Torah where there was a plague of poisonous snakes in the Midbar. Hashem told Moshe to place a large copper snake on a high pole and whoever is bitten should look at it and he will be healed. The Mishna in Rosh Hashana asks, how can a copper snake heal? The mishna answers that when a person looks up at the snake he will notice the heavens in the background and start to think of Hashem. Thinking of Hashem is where the real cure lies. The snake is just an attraction to guide us home.

Hoshana Rabba is the climax of almost two months of work repairing and rebuilding our relationship with the Master of the Universe. We repent, cleanse ourselves, and finally, we honeymoon with him in His succah. On Hoshana Rabba we reach our goal of Yishakeini Mi'Nisheikos Pihu. We get the coveted kiss on the lips from Hashem. This is symbolized by the arava; the long drawn out lip shaped leave.

Then, just like that Succos is over and it's back to work. When a lonely businessman travels far from his home seeking his fortune, he is far removed from the closeness of succos, where he knew with certainty that Hashem determines his financial fate. He is too busy contemplating his negotiating strategy. This is a very dangerous predicament. When he pulls out his "lucky" aravos he suddenly travels back in time to Hoshana Rabba and that beautiful kiss. Suddenly all is clear to him once again. That is the power of a good segula.

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Hoshana Rabba: Rav Shimshon Pincus - Don't Forget To Cash In Your Petek

Our wonderful year full of parnassah, health, and nachas from the kids has been signed and sealed. Succos is over. What do we do now, sit back and wait for the money to start rolling in? That would be a colossal mistake, says Rav Shimshon Pincus. Your good year is given as a coupon. It is the famous "Petek" from Hoshana Rabba. You now need to go to one of the distribution centers to cash it in. Where are those centers? Is there a listing by city or country?It is your local Shul.

Just like all the trees and vegetation were created during the six days of creation yet they waited below ground and did not sprout until Adam davened to Hashem ,so to the abundance of Shefa waiting for us in Shamayim will not come down until we call up to Hashem and ask for it.

Every millions upon millions of dollars, good health and lots of nachas are left with the master treasurer in Heaven simply because the people with the winning numbers didn't bother to pick it up. This year make sure that you are not one of them.

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Levi Yitzchok MiBerditchev: On Succos Hashem Demands A Recount!

The Medrash Tanchumah says that the first day of Succos is called "Rishon L'Cheshbon Avonos", the first day that Hashem starts to count our aveiros since we did Teshuva on Yom Kippur. What about the aveiros we commit in the days in between Yom Kippur and Succos? Do they not count?

The gemara in Yuma (86b) says that when we do Teshuva out of fear "Zidonos Na'aseh K'Shgagos"; Hashem considers the aveiros we did intentionally as if we did it without intent and does not punish us. However when we do Teshuva out of love "Zidonos Na'aseh K'Zichuyos"; our aveiros turn into mitzvos. That is the power of Teshuva Mi'Ahava.

Rav Levi Yitzchok MiBeridchev (Kedushas Levi) explains that on Yom Kippur we do Teshuva out of fear. We want to have a good year and know that our fate will be sealed on that day. Therefore Hashem ignores our aveiros and we are granted a good year. Succos on the other hand is a Yom Tov of Simcha and great joy. It is a time when we do Teshuva out of extreme love for Hashem. We sit in the Succah and enjoy Hashem's presence. Therefore all our old aveiros are now turned into mitzvos.

Therefore explains the Kedushas Levi when Succos starts and we do Teshuva Mi'Ahava, Hashem takes out all the aveiros that he "threw away" after Yom Kippur when he forgave us and starts to count them again. Why? Because now that they turned into mitzvos Hashem wants to recount them in order to credit us for these "mitzvos".

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 03:00:00 +0000
The Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and Succos Connection

The Baalei Mussar say that the three Yomim Tovim in Tishrei, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and Succos are all one long continuous Yom Tov, all with the purpose of fully returning to Hashem.

Rosh Hashana is the day we start this process by reflecting and contemplating where it is that we stand in our relationship with Hashem. After realizing that we are not where we should be and how far we have drifted, we spend the week between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur regretting and repairing the damage. On Yom Kippur Hashem forgives us and we start our relationship anew.

Succos we leave our home and go on a second honeymoon where we enjoy Hashem's company in Hashem's honeymoon getaway; alone together in the quiet of the succah, free from the distractions of the rest of the world.

Sun, 09 Oct 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Shmini Atzeres: Bnei Yissaschar - Rain After Succos, Dew After Pesach Thedifference between rain and dew is that rain originates from the earthbelow.  After the vapor condenses in the skies, it then falls back toearth giving life to the world.  Dew originates in Shamayim and is notstimulated by the earth below.  It is a gift from Shamayim. 

This,says the Bnei Yissaschar, is analogous to Pesach and Succos.  Pesach isa gift of freedom.  It is not something we earn.  Each year Hashemrenews and refreshes us with the gift of freedom as we are born anew. Succos is the celebration of our being cleansed after a month a half ofour hard work, as we repair ourselves with Tshuvah.

ThereforePesach is the time to bless the Tal.  It too, is a gift without anyinput from us.  Succos is a time to bless the rain.  The rainsymbolizes the fruit of our effort that we exerted during Elul andTishrei.  After we send our Tshuvah up to Hashem, Hashem resends itback to us down below in the form of life.

Wed, 29 Sep 2010 03:00:00 +0000
A Succah Screaming From The Rooftop

At the end of time, Hashem will give all the nations one last chance to earn eternal life. He will challenge them to perform the mitzva of Succah. The gemara (Avodah Zara 3a) says they will all go out and build succos on their roofs. Hashem will then take out the boiling hot sun until they all run away from their succos and fail their last test. If Hashem is being so kind to give them another chance after all they have done then why spoil it with an unnaturally hot sun? Moreover the gemara says they are allowed to leave the succah under extreme temperature and they were only punished for kicking the succah on the way out.

The Ben Ish Chai explains that they didn't really want to sit in the succah in the first place. They purposely built them on the roof where the sun is at its hottest rather than the cool courtyard that is protected from the sun. Hashem gives every person what he really wants. He didn't punish them with a hot sun, rather He gave them the excuse to leave that they were looking for.

Maybe we can offer another explanation B'derech Drush. The gemara in Succah 49b says that even mitzvos that are performed in public like Hachnosas Kallah must be done as discreetly as possible, since the Pasuk of Hatzei'a Leches to go modestly is written in the same pasuk as the mitzva of Hachnosas Kallah. Succah is the most private of Mitzvos. It cannot be performed publicly but only in your own private succah, as we leave everything and everyone and have Yichud with Hashem. It is purely Lishma with no neighbors watching.

Succah was the test of the other nations to see if they are ready to be alone with Hashem even with no one watching. What did they do? They went out and built the succah on their roofs so everyone can see that they are doing a mitzva. To this Hashem said no thank and turned up the heat, chasing them all away.

We do so many things for public recognition. Mitzvos are not meant to be done while shouting from the rooftop. One time a year we are trapped. On Succos it is just us and Hashem. Halevai we can take succos with us the whole year and perform all our mitzvos in a succos like atmosphere, caring only about serving Hashem and not looking over shoulder to see who is watching.

Tue, 28 Sep 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Vilna Gaon: Why Is Succos On The 15th of Tishrei?

Chazal tell us that Succos should really be on Pesach because that is when we came out of Mitzrayim. The Vilna Gaon says however that the 15th day of Tishrei is really the appropriate time. Succos commemorates the Nes that Hashem surrounded us with the Ananei HaKavod and protected us in the harsh desert. When did we get the Ananei HaKavod? Originally, when we came out of Mitzrayim but after the Cheit HaEgel they went away. Only when Hashem forgave the Cheit HaEgel and we started to build the Mishkan did they come back. That of course happened on the 15th of Tishrei.

Here is the calculation according to the Gra. On Yom Kippur Moshe came down from 40 days in Shmayim with the second Luchos. The day after that he gathered Bnei Yisroel and commanded them to build the Mishkan. For the next two days they brought all the material they donated. The day after the materials were distributed to the workers and on the 15th they began to work.

Wed, 22 Sep 2010 03:00:00 +0000
On Succos We Learn To Hide From Yom Kippur

There are a number of reasons given for the connection between Succos and Yom Kippur and why they are so close together.  Some say that Galus is Michaper and therefore if we have been given any harsh punishments,our Galus and leaving our house should be a kapara instead.

Rav Shimshon Pincus answer answer that after Yom Kippur we are Baalei Tshuva.  Like any Baal Tshuva, after being bitten by the bug we must take measures to make sure that it lasts and we don't quickly revert back to our old ways.  The biggest challenge is when we go back to our old surroundings and hang out with our old friends.  They certainly won't take our change in stride, and after the initial ridiculing, many are bound to just throw in the towel and go back to their old self.  The best course is to leave your social network and find a new one.  Similarly after Yom Kippur we leave our home and our lives and go live with Avrohom, Yitzchok, Yaakov, and all the Ushpizin who encourage our change.

Another possible explanation may lie in the minhag to say L'Dovid Hashem Ori until Hoshana Rabba as it says "Ki Yizpineini B'Sucoi B'Yom Ra", because Hashem concealed me in his Succah on the evil day.  This is a remez to the Succah.  Maybe the lesson here is that often during the year we will find ourselves in a tough spot.  No one has a perfect year.  But Hashem teaches us the secret to making it through the year no matter what our fate has in store.  "Hide in my tent!  Conceal yourself in my shadow."  When we are with Hashem, no matter what is going on around us life is always perfect.  In good times and in troubled situations the best place to be is near Hashem.  It doesn't matter what is going on outside or what your Chasima was, inside with Hashem it is always pleasant.

Tue, 21 Sep 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Lulav & Esrog - Small Investment, Amazing Returns

The Medrash says that it says by Yetzias Mitzrayim "V'Lakachtem" you should take a piece of "Eizov", grass and dip it into the blood of the Korban Pesach. The medrash then says that the eizov costs but a few pennies yet it earned us the reward of the wealth of Mitzrayim, first when we left, then again at the Yam Suf, and then again from Sichon and Og and all the nations that lived in Eretz Yisroel.

By Lulav and esrog it also says "V'Lakachtem". A good Lulav and Esrog which can cost a small fortune will return a far greater reward then the very appealing reward we received for the little blades of grass. If you spent a lot of money on your Arba Minim you may be smiling now and justifiably so!

Mon, 20 Sep 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Shmini Atzeres: The Day The Tefilos Will Finally Arrive Shmini Atzeres is the last day of Yom Tov but it is a Yom Tov by itself.  It is different from Succos in six things and the gemara lists them and give an acronym by which to remember them, "Pzar Kshav".  We also know that Shmini Atzeres is a very special day for tefila when all our tefilos are answered.

The Sar Shalom of Belz says that we see this in the words spelled out by the acronym of the days uniqueness.  "Pzar" means scattered and "Kshav" means to listen.  Not only does Hashem listen to all our tefilos on Shmini Atzeres, but it is also the day that He responds to all our previous tefilos that had gone unanswered.  "Pzar", all the tefilos that were scattered and never reached their destination.  "Kshav", Hashem will listen to then as well.

Fri, 09 Oct 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Hoshanos - Teaching The Am HaAretz A Lesson When banging the Aravos we scream out L'Maan Daas Kol Amei HaAretz.  The Chaim Sheyesh Bahem brings from the Osem Bosem that he lightheartedly explained the reason for this as follows.

The four minim symbolize four types of Yidden.  The Arava which has no smell or taste represents the lowest level, the Am HaAretz.  While in the lulav together with its more illustrious neighbors, the arava knows its place.  However on Hoshana Rabba we put the other minim down and hold only Aravos which now take center stage.

The limelight makes the arava drunk with pride and he forgets who he really is.  "Look I am the King, more special then all the other minim!"  Therefore we then put him back in his place by giving him a few good smacks on the floor and declaring, "L'maan Daas Kol Amei HaAretz", these smack are so that the Am Haratzim should know there true standing in this world, despite their privileged treatment on this special day!

Fri, 09 Oct 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Korbonos of Succos - 70 Dwindling Nations

On Succos, for the Korbon Mussaf we bring a total of 70 Parim, oxen. The first day we bring 13 and then each day bring one less until the last day on Hoshana Rabba we bring only 7. This makes a total of 70 oxen (13+12+11+10+9+8+7). The Medrash says that this is in order to merit the 70 nations of the world with plentiful rain since Succos is the time that the water/rain ration for the whole world is judged. In addition we bring 14 Kevasim, lambs each day of Succos. This is for the 12 shevatim and Efraim and Menashe.

The reason the medrash says that we bring the 70 oxen in reduced increments each day is to show us that the 70 nations will eventually disappear. However the 14 Kevasim which represent Klal Yisroel are brought consistently each day to show that Am Yisroel will live on forever!

Wed, 07 Oct 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Simchas Bais HaSho'eva - What Is The Mitzva? The Mishna in Succah describes in detail the Simchas Bais HaSho'eva that took place in the Bais HaMikdash on Succos. The question is what were they celebrating? There is a special mitzva on Yom Tov to be happy, "V'Samachta B'Chagecha". There is also a special mitzva on Succos of "Nisuch HaMayim"; to pour water on the mizbay'ach with the korbonos in addition to the wine that was poured all year round.

Rashi in a number of places says that Simchas Bais HaSho'eva was in honor of the pouring of the water on the mizbay'ach and was only a Mitzva D'Rabanan. Similarly today it is only a zecher for the the Simchas Bais HaSho'eva that took place in the times of the Bais HaMikdash.

The Rambam says (Lulav 8:12-15) that festivities of Simchas Bais HaSho'eva are part of the mitzva of being happy on Yom Tov. He says that instruments were brought to the Bais Hamikdash and there was great singing and dancing. He makes no mention whatsoever about the pouring of the water on the Mizbay'ach. This means that Simchas Bais HaSho'eva is a Mitzva D'Oiraisa, not only in the times of the Bais HaMikdash but even today.

Tue, 06 Oct 2009 03:00:00 +0000
The World's Most Beautiful Succah...

The reasons for going into the Succah, as given by the mefarshim, all center around the idea that we leave our permanent abode to live with Hashem. It is a reminder that the world is temporary, it is symbolic of us going into galus. Nevertheless we find that it is a mitzva to beautify the succah. We decorate it. We must bring out all our expensive dishes. Why? Shouldn't we keep it plain and simple. Why have the gashmiyus which we are trying to escape follow us into a ruchniyos dwelling?

There are a number of answers to this question but I'd like to share one with you that I heard from a (now terminally ill) Yid in Bnei Brak. The succah symbolizes our short time on earth. The seven days represent the seventy years of a person's life. The temporary walls and leaky roof remind us that life is very flimsy and can end any moment. The only thing important is serving our creator who looks down on us at all times and is clearly visible if we bother looking up through the cracks.

By beautifying the succah we see the joke of our pursuit of life's luxuries. Look around, are we not fooling ourselves? No matter how much money we have or where we live or what we drive, no matter how much we spoil ourselves and indulge in life's decorations we are still living in a world that is as flimsy as a succah.

Mon, 05 Oct 2009 03:00:00 +0000
The Magid Of Trisk Gains Entry To The Succah With A Broken Heart The Yeino Shel Torah brings that Rav Avrohom the Maggid of Trisk once lamented that the Halacha states that you may not bring a Kli Cheres, and earthenware vessel, into the Succah.  We just said on Yom Kippur during davening "Adam Yisodo MeiAfar", a man is made of earth.  If so I am not permitted to enter the Succah!

He then remembered that the gemara says that a Kli Cheres becomes tahor by breaking it.  If so, our hearts were broken from Tshuva on Yom Kippur so we are now tahor and I can enter the Succah.

Fri, 02 Oct 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Yehonoson Eibushitz: Trade A Beautiful Esrog For A Three Legged Table In Olam Haba The perfect beautiful clean esrog is way out of budget for most of us ordinary citizens. Should we feel bad? Yes but no, says Rav Yehonoson Eibushitz. He explains his position with the famous story in the gemara about Rebbi Chanina Ben Dosa who was very poor until his wife begged him to plead to Hashem to send some money and gold leg came down from Shamayim. Afterward she had a dream that they sat in Gan Eden at a table with only two legs. What happened?

Rav Yehonoson Eibushitz says that tzaddikim only want money so that they too can give tzedoka. They don't want to miss out on any mitzvos. This is why Rebbi Chanina's wife wanted money. The two legs she saw in her dream were two of the three pillar of the world, torah and avodah which they were mikayem to perfection and therefore had a table with golden legs. The third leg would have been gemilus chasadim which they were able to perform with their newfound wealth. The dream taught them that it is better not to have money. Why? Before they had money they dreamed about doing Chesed. Their intentions were perfectly lishma and 100% pure. For this they would have received the third leg in Gan Eden since they had no means to perform the mitzva their intentions substituted for their lack of action.

Once they received their wealth and they were able to do the mitzva, it could not have been perfect. They somehow would have fallen short in performance of the mitzva. They may not give one person as much as they should. They might have had fleeting prideful thoughts about doing the mitzva. People can never be perfect. Only in their dreams! Therefore if you cannot do the mitzva, yet in your heart you yearn for it in the worst way, you are better off.

So when the fellow sitting next to you in Shul is showing off his spanking clean and beautifully shaped esrog, just smile and keep on dreaming for the day that you can have an esrog just like it. Hopefully for you it will never happen. And by hoping and praying year after year that next year will be your lucky year, you will be far better off.

Thu, 01 Oct 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Eliyahu Dessler: Succah, Heaven On Earth

The Michtav Mei'Eliyahu says that anyone who thinks he can bring his life to the point of perfection and stay that way is kidding himself. Every person knows that all worldly pleasures come and go and cannot be sustained over the long term. Life is constantly evolving. The only pleasure that is eternal is torah and mitzvos. Our challenge in this world is to live in it without becoming its next victim. To live a spiritual life in a physical world.  Hashem puts our spiritual neshama in a physical body and sends it down to a physical world and instructs us to make sure that our Neshama reign supreme despite this completely physical environment, starting with our own bodily desires.

After spending Yom Kippur ridding ourselves of mistaken attitudes and refocusing our goals heavenward, we go into the Succah for seven days before coming back into the world, and testing ourselves once again. The succah is a bare physical existence and the best spiritual habitat we can carve out in this physical world. It has none of the standard luxuries that our earthly homes have, which blur our spiritual vision. It has four walls and barely a roof overhead, allowing you to always see the heavens above you.  You remember that someone is watching your every move, and keep in mind where you will spend eternity after this short life is over. These are the baby steps we need to take before jumping back into the "real world" convinced that this year will finally be different.

Wed, 30 Sep 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Hoshana Rabba: Quit Whining and Enjoy Succos

On Rosh Hashana our fate for the upcoming year is written.  On Yom Kippur our fate is sealed.  Still that is not the end.  It is the Malachim who have the task of carrying out our agenda throughout the year.  They are given their assignments on Hoshana Rabba.  Hashem carefully guards our "Petek" our signed fate from Yom Kippur until Hoshana Rabba.  That means there is still hope to change it since it is still in Hashem's hands. 

Why the added delay?  Is there something we can do after the gezeirah is signed?  Yes of course!   While Teshuva from yirah, from fear, can alter the gezeirah before it is signed, only Teshuva from Ahava, from an outpouring of love for Hashem from the depths of our hearts without any consideration for our fate, can break Hashem's heart kiviyachol.  When Hashem sees His children leaving their homes to rejoice with Him in the succah and joyfully taking the arba minim without any consideration as to what will happen to them in the upcoming year, how can a loving and merciful father not rip up any bad decree and replace it with one that we will enjoy?

This was the success of Purim.  After our fate was sealed and we were delivered into the hands of Haman HaRasha we gave up and no longer cared about ourselves.  We totally submitted to Hashem and loved Him without expectation of anything in return.  This attitude had the power to repeal a signed decree.

So before Hoshana Rabba don't beg Hashem to change your fate.  Forget about it and just enjoy Succos.  The rest will take care of itself.

Tue, 02 Oct 2007 03:00:00 +0000