Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sukkot: All of Israel in One Sukkah

Please G-D may we reach this stage of Messianic utopia very soon, with the speedy arrival of Mashiach in our days...

Sukkot: All of Israel in One Sukkah

The Talmud [Sukkah 27b] makes a remarkable statement regarding the holiday of Succoth:

"'For seven days .. all who belong to the people of Israel will live in sukkot (thatched huts)' [Lev. 23:42]. This teaches that it is fitting for all of Israel to sit in one sukkah."

What does this metaphor - the entire people sitting in a single sukkah - mean?

As long as we are dominated by our faults and controlled by our defects, national consensus and unity are unattainable. However, this unfortunate state is repaired after we have experienced the holiness of Yom Kippur. When our world has been illuminated by the light of teshuvah (repentance) and the entire Jewish people has been purified from sin's defiling influence, the soul's inner purity becomes our predominate force. Then we merit an ever-increasing harmony in the nation's diverse views and conflicting outlooks.

With the arrival of the holiday of Succoth, we absorb the light of Torah and a radiance of awe and love for truth. All viewpoints and ideas become integrated and unified. We are elevated and attain a perfect unity - a unity that spreads its holy light over all the dispersed communities of Israel. During this holy time, it is as if the entire Jewish people is sitting together in one sukkah.

"This is the very essence of the mitzvah of sukkah. One should concentrate on being part of the entire people of Israel, with profound love and peace, until it may be considered as if all of Israel dwells in one sukkah." [Likutei Halachot of R. Nathan of Nemirov]

[adapted from Mo'adei HaRe'iyah p. 96]

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