Welcome to the short, practical
Lelamed Weekly Dvar. As a new year begins, allow me to take this
opportunity to wish you a happy, healthy, productive year, and may we grow
spiritually and emotionally (hopefully not too much physically, unless
we're at that age where growing is a good thing). And may this short
little weekly D-mail grow as well in the coming year (with your help in
spreading it). Enjoy...
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Sukkot is a happy time. In fact, it's so happy that the Torah says it
is! It's called Zman Simchateynu (the time of our happiness). But it's
even more then that. The Torah COMMANDS us to be happy. So what's all this
happiness for? You have to eat in a shack and shake a fruit, palm
branches, and leaves. Why should we be happy, and why should we be
COMMANDED to be happy?
Part of the answer lies in the reasons for what we do, and what they
symbolize. The Sukkah needs to be made so that it's temporary in nature,
to symbolize the way it was in the desert when the Jews left Egypt. But it
also symbolizes the way it is in this world! We're living in a temporary
world, with weak walls, a leaky ceiling, and decorations. And that's
exactly what's supposed to make us so happy! That leaky ceiling is the
connection we have with the REAL reality (heaven/G-d), and it's the light
from above that reflects from the decorations onto the walls, shining on
everything. This Sukkot, we should look around us and think about all the
temporary decorations in our lives, and how we can increase the number of
permanent decorations we prepare! Especially right after Yom Kippur, when
we (hopefully) committed to some sort of spiritual improvement, Sukkot is
the perfect opportunity to exercise it.
Whether we promised to give more charity, or even to just give charity
with a smile. Whether it was to learn one Jewish law every day, or to
perform one. The point of Sukkot is for us to be able to DO something
right to start our year, to do it proudly and happily, and with flying
colors, decorations and enthusiasm!