"Moshiach is ready to come now-our part is to increase in acts of goodness and kindness" -The Rebbe

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sukkah: Unity through transcending all divisions

Unlike the Mitzvah of the Four Kinds, which creates a complementary unity from individuality and multiplicity (as discussed here), the Mitzvah of Sukkah fosters an almost opposite type of unity. This unity involves reaching to a level of G–dliness so sublime that it utterly transcends all distinctions between one Jew and another.

In Chassidic parlance such a level is known as an
Ohr Makif, an “encompassing light,” one that impacts upon the recipients and yet does not differentiate between the various levels they are on. This is comparable to a king’s edict, which is just as binding upon the greatest minister and the simplest subject.

This level shines in the
Sukkah, and Jews unite at this level through the simple act of sitting in the Sukkah with one another.

This quality is reflected in the very dimensions of the
Sukkah, which does not touch the person sitting in it, but surrounds his head, body, and feet equally. This is indicative of the nature of the divine revelation in the Sukkah, which does not relate to the unique individuality of each Jew at all. Instead, it transcends these (important but ultimately) external qualities. Likewise, all Jews who sit in the Sukkah, both the great scholar and the small child, are physically surrounded in the same manner; this symbolizes the nature of the spiritual unity that they accomplish with one another by sitting in the Sukkah.

This fits nicely with one of the opinions recorded in the Talmud (ibid. 11b)—which is also the way Rashi explains it in his commentary on
Chumash (Vayikra 23:43)—which maintains that the Sukkah is symbolic of the Clouds of Glory (which accompanied the Jewish people on their journey through the desert), which encompassed the entire Jewish people equally. This is also the deeper meaning of the Talmudic dictum: “All Jews are fit to sit in one Sukkah” (Sukkah 27b)—alluding to the fact that in the Sukkah we connect with a level at which all Jews are literally equal.

Based on Sefer HaMa’amarim Melukat, Vol. 4, p. 23, and ibid, Vol. 1, p. 166.

Dedicated by Menachem Shakulov in the merit of Menachem Mendel ben Sarah, and by Guillermo Eduardo Chinchilla Zúñiga as a merit for Kevin Esteban Chinchilla Montero.

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