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Succah-Succot- Tabernacles- MAKE YOUR HEAD SPIN !
September 30, 2012, 12:50 pm
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SUCCOT בס”ד

Blessed is GOD that we have made it again to the Holy festival of Succot, a time auspicious for revelation of our righteous Messiah may he come quickly because the mercy of GOD is great !

GOD commands us to dwell in a Succah so that we can remember our exodus from Egypt. Remembering the “great hand” and the “out stretched arm” of great revelation by which GOD took us out of Egypt. The Succah also teaches us of the wasteful unnecessary nature of materialism. As during Succot we dwell in Succot as our ancestors did in the desert after leaving Egypt. They lived simply and had all that they needed. Such simple living allows the mind to be free to dwell on spiritual concerns. Such living can be compared to the manna in the desert. To some it tasted tastless or bad, to others it tasted as what ever they wanted to eat. It all depends on the way one looks at things. Many sages have went on self imposed exiles, To the extreme of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochi Who dwelled in the cave for 13 years and reached the greatest height of Holiness.

In a sense a Succah is as ones personal mishcon משכן (tabernacle) משכן is Gematria 410 equals קודש Holy. The Succah is a very Holy place.

Indeed, the word Succah itself teaches us this. The word Succah (spelled Samekh Vav Kaf Hey) has the same numerical value of 91 just as the two holy Names of G-d, YHVH (26) and ADONAI (65)=91, מלאך (angel) = 91. YHVH represents G-d’s hidden supernatural power and the Name ADONAI represents the Divine natural power. The word Succah also is numerically equal to the term (HaElohim, G-d), as in the statement that we recite at the end of Yom Kippur prayers HaShem Hu HaElohim (HaShem, He is G-d). “He is G-d” is the Succah. YHVH/ADONAI is the Succah. G-d is the Succah and we are commanded to dwell within “Him” for the week.

The four walls of Sukkah are a Mem Sofit that surrounds the one which sits inside its four sides. A Succah is a special kind of embrace of the Creator. According to Halacha a succah has to have two complete walls and the third one that is at least one Tepach long. The Sages compare the two walls with the two parts of the folded arm and the third wall with the hand, so this kind of Sukkah looks like the Arm of the Creator hugging the person sitting inside.

The “Scoch and walls of the sucah make “Tzel” (shade – shadow) + Mem= Tzelem (image) As it is written “God made man in His Image”

By sitting in Sukkah we reform our distorted “image”, distorted by sins, to the “Tzelem” given to us by our Creator. As it is written “God made man in His Image”

The Name of G-d used in the creation story is ELOHIM. The numerical value of this Name is 86, the same as the Hebrew term for “nature” (HaTeva). G-d is the author of nature, of the natural order. He created humanity and placed us to live in a Garden, not in a concrete jungle. G-d’s Name is often represented by the Hebrew letter Hey, the last of the four letters of YHVH. Add the numerical value of this letter Hey (5) to HaTeva (nature) and to ELOHIM (G-d) and again we arrive at the numerical value of Succah.

In parsha Shemini we are told that for 7 days the mishcon was dedicated and on the 8th day the presence of GOD was revealed. This is similar to on Succot we dwell in a Succah for 7 days and the 8th day is Smini Atzeret, a day of closeness. Or as the Ramba’n, peace unto him, said Smini Atzeret is “a day of binding together all emanations”.

Pesach is concidered our festival while Succot is said to be GOD’s. This reflects the idea that on Succot the arousal of Spiritual interaction is from below (by our Divine Service). Succah is a celebration of “real joy” from the spiritual gain of Ellul, Rosh Hashanah and Yom kipporim. It is the time to celebrate the blessing of our harvest physically and spiritually. It is an opportunity for us to experience our new spiritual garments. One does not really know how nice a garment is until it is worn.

The Ramba’m warns us that one’s arrogance, Honor of themselves or haughtiness can, Heaven forbid, prevent one from truly rejoicing to the fullest extent, becouse of this such a person is a sinner and a fool. Such must certainly be avoided as the main service of succah is to rejoice, especially on Simchat Torah. Just let go of your inhibitions.

Succah is a time of great joy for all mankind as on Succah in the Bait HaMigdash (Holy Temple) offerings are brought on behalf of not only Yisrael but for all 70 of the nations. Its written in the Prophets that after the Messiah comes even the nations will celebrate the festival of Succah. Succah is a time of bringing all mankind together returning to GOD. As Rabbi Nachman of Bresslov teaches that by shaking of the arba minim (Etrog Lulav Hadas Arovot) the nations become humbled and return to GOD. This service of waiving the arba minim is so powerful and important that the sages enacted that we should waive the arba minim all the days of the festival after the Bait HaMigdash was destroyed, even if they were only waved the first day in the Bait HaMigdash.

Rabbi Moshe Chyim Lazzato Teaches that by grasping the life force that flows within the Etrog (citron) that is closed with in Malchut of Asiyah (which is as grasping the whole world in your hand). You can also grasp the Nakavah, malchut of Atzilut (all potential will of GOD that is yet to be revealed). Through one’s Kavanah (intent) they can draw down new revelation from Arich of Atzilut (the source of revelation of Divine will) in to this world revealing what did not exist before.

The Bahir Teaches that a Succah is filled with Chuchmah (Divine Creative power- inspiration). It is this Chuchmah that gives us new understandings directing us to closer levels in the service of GOD, guiding us to greater revelation. It is further explained that the Scoch of the roof of the Succah is Netzauch (quanitity) and Hod (quality). According to the Quality and Quantity of our Divine service the Divine light is revealed throught the Scoch (roofing material) filling the Succah. GOD has left it up to us to illuminate the world we live in being a “light to the nations”. Letting them understand through our actions that everything we do is directed towards attaining life’s goal of unification with GOD by removing the dross of impurity that is brought on by nourishing the klipot (other side) in our thought speech and action. So that there can be more open revelation of GOD’s will in this world. Filling the Succah with light, as GOD’s voice would fill the משכן (tabernacle). Directing us immediately to Fulfill GOD’s will in this world with the arrival of our righteous quickly in our days.

Chassadim (powers of God’s giving are dat (knowledge) of Z”a (source of our ruach-emotional soul). The Chassadim are called “stomim” (closed) above the chest of Z’a are covered in the Yesod (gate way of Divine energy) of Imma (source of our Nashama-Divine soul of intellect). The Yesod of Imma is as a tent of “succah”.1

1Mhl p.5,sulam on zohar Chadash Vetchanon p.5

Tractate Bava Metzia1 where Rabba says in the name of Rabbi Yochanan That the Holy one in the future will make a Succah for the righteous to protect from the sun, and it will be made of the skin of the Leviathan. If a man will be worthy a succah will be made for him, if not a mere covering, if He is not worthy of this a necklace will be made for him, if he doesn’t merit this a Amulet will be made for him. The rest of the Leviathan will be spread out over the hills of Jerusalem by the Holy One, and its splendor will shine from one end of the world to the other as it is written ” The nations shall rise in your light and kings in the brightness of your rising ”

Also concerning the Leviathan Rabba said in the name of rabbi Yochanan The Holy one in the future will make a feast of the flesh of the Leviathan. Rav Dimi said in the name of Rabbi Yochanan the angel Gavreal will in the future hunt the leviathan, and if the Holy One does not help him, he will not be able to prevail over him.

1Tractate Bava Batra 74b,Zohar Chayah Sara p28

This is the NEW NEW STUFF

The scoch (roof) of the Succah is Netzauch and Hod which we know are the gates of prophesy. Now, this is a amazing thing as after Succah they are only tree branches. During Succah God changes the nature of the roofing material and it becomes a conduit for Netzach and Hod by changing it grasping this unique nature of malchut of Atzilut and revealing it even in Malchut of Asiyah..

Water in Hebrew including the word itself is gematria 91 the same as Succah. Now we know during Succah God makes a judgment on “the water”. But succah is the time when the Makiff Chassadim descend and enter Z”a. Chassadim are the 5 times “light” is mentioned in the work of creation. By this Succah alludes to :

Revelation of Torah is Revelation of Chassadim.1 In the Torah in the story of creation are 5 times the word אור (light) this is “sitre Torah” (hidden Torah), 5 times מים (water) this is the written Torah and 5 times the word רקיע (firmament) this is the Oral Torah.2 Every drop of seed (penimi) is made by אמ”ר which is Rosh Teva אור (light), מים, (water) and רקיע (firmament). רקיע is secret of the light spreading out of by the spinal cord., The Divine act of Creation is referred to by the metaphor of אמ”ר speech. The root אמ”ר, “to say”, is an acronym for the first three primary creations: light (אור), water (מים), firmament (רקיע). These represent the three stages in the materialization of the creative seed, as taught by the Ar”i:

* light —the spiritual origin of the seed in the mind , before it is emanated, still only in potential in the God Head

* water— physical manifestation of seed , the energy after emanation

* firmament– the beginning of conception in the womb –. Shaping of the Energy so to create something in this physical world.

The existence of the parzufim are drawn by the order of אמ”ר. The order of from above to below is אמ”ר.

The firmament (רקיע), derives from the root, to stretch, represents all states of positive tension- energy fields- in nature. 5 lights of Binna are called rays of the sun. Binna is the sun. These are from Chesed to Hod. Moshe recieved from Chesed to Hod. These 5 are the 5 times light is mentioned in the first day of the work of creation. These are the Chassadim. They are the 5 fingers of the right hand. From Chesed Bina is complete mercy. The Givurot is 5 times “rekia” is mentioned on the 2nd day of creation.

What we are alluding to is that Succat reveals the highest forces of creation..The roof of the Succhah is Netzach and Hod which make the yesod , it is the rekia (firmament), heaven comes close to earth on Succot. From this rakia descends the makiff chassadim which as we said is the light of creation in Genesis. And as we began water in Hebrew including the word itself is gematria 91 the same as Succah. As during Succah the judgment on “the water” is made this we will discuss more later.

1Lekutey Mahoran p.58

2Avodat Yisrael p.1

In the spiritual worlds man is a microcosm of all Creation, he is the Yesod (gateway of energy) for the upper spirituals energies. On man himself he parallels the organ of the Brit milah (circumcision). The High Holy Days come to help us rectify “the” Yesod and connect us to flow of other divine powers that can come through our new “repaired” Yesod.

We eat and sleep in a Succah (Tabernacle) for the 7-day holiday of Succot, and on succah we work energy with the four species, the lulav towers above the etrog (citron), hadass and willow branches. The blessing that we recite in performing the mitzvah is over the “waving of the lulav.” The lulav is taken from the long, straight, upper branches of the date palm. In the holy Zohar, we find that the date palm, or “tamar”, represents the Tzaddik (the righteous individual) He conducts his life in utmost sexual purity, as in the case of Yosef, who was called Tzaddik, because he overcame the temptations of Potifar’s wife.

As we have said above “ The Yesod (gateway of energy) parallels the organ of the Brit milah (circumcision).”

Its written :

The tzaddik (righteous man) flourishes like the date palm; he grows like a cedar in Lebanon” (Psalms, 92:13).

Regarding, ‘flourishes like a date palm,’ just as a date palm does not grow (and bear fruit) unless the male be planted by the female, so the tzaddik cannot flourish save when husband and wife are united, when the male aspect of tzaddik, is united with the female aspect of tzaddik, as with Avraham and Sarah”.

The Tzaddik is associated with the sefirah of Yesod (he has developed a great flow of spiritual energy), as its says, ”Tzaddik yesod olam,” meaning ”the Tzaddik is the foundation of the world” (Mishle, 10:25). From this we see that the lulav, in its spiritual connection to the sefirah of Yesod, is a powerful tool to draw down Divine goodness to mankind.

Concerning the 4 species: 1) The Lulav 2) the 3 myrtle branches 3) the 2 willow branches & 4) the Etrog citrus fruit

The 4 Species – Lulav branch towering above the others

Just as the Tzaddik excells over others in spiritual energy and shelters his generation,

so too the lulav branch rises above and looks over the three accompanying species. In waving the upright, male symbol of the luluv, the embodiment of the Yesod, we activate the female aspect of the Yesod above, drawing down Divine blessing. We “excite” the Shechinah above with the Lulov.

Accordingly, the holiday of Succot is also known as the Festival of the Harvest, or the Ingathering, when we harvest our material and spiritual blessings at the start of the year from the mercy of God and the work we did in Elul , Rosh Hashanah, the days of Teshuva and Yom kippor.. The Hebrew word for ”the Harvest,” האסיף, has the same numerical value as Yosef, יוסף, once again hinting at the connection between sexual purity and the bounty of the Festival of the Harvest.

In its inner, spiritual essence, the lulav is like a healing laser beam whose light soars upward with our wavings to the furthest reaches of Heaven, healing the damaged Yesod and releasing its life-sustaining blessings. It opens up the Yesod-gateway of energy for more and greater quality flow. We wave the lulav toward the four directions of the compass, and up and down, a total of six directions, which parallels the Yesod, the sixth of the lower sefirot. All is Dependant on the Yesod-gateway of energy.

The lulav corresponds to the letter vav. Like the lulov the letter vav is long and straight, as the organ corresponding to the Yesod. The letter vav has the numerical value of six, paralleling the sixth sefirah of Yesod. By waving the lulav three times forward and three times back, for a total of six wavings, we actualize the flow of the Yesod. It is the perfect tool to fix clean and refine the Yesod-gateway of energy.

Aiming our secret spiritual weapon toward the six directions multiplies this flow of bounty into our lives. Also, it is the letter vav in the middle of God’s Name (Yhv”h) that connects the first two letters, Yud and Hai, representing the upper spiritual worlds, with the final letter Hai, representing our world. Once again, this hints that the vav-lulav-Yesod represents the channel that brings Divine blessing from the upper worlds to our world, ultimately revealing “Hashmal,” (the inner voice of God). We only need to open up this Yesod-gateway of energy, and draw flow.

The Maharil (“Laws of Lulav”) notes that the first and last letters of the Torah, bet and lamed, and the first and last letters of the Tanach (prophets and Writings), vav and lamed, make up the letters of lulav. This once again hints that the lulav-yesod is the central axis that joins one end of our holy writings with the other, encompassing the entire Torah. We see from this the whole Bible hints at the Lulov reminding us of its importance.

The Ariza”l points out that the word, lulav (לולב) has the same gematria (numerical value) of 68 as the word ”chaim” meaning life (חיים). This is because of the life force that flows from the lulav-Yesod, to the feminine principle of Malchut, represented by the etrog, which symbolizes the fruit of the womb. When we raise the lulav and etrog together, we unite the male and female principles of Creation in a spiritual unification, called Yichud. This unification of Masculine and feminine give birth to new spiritual forces for our souls and the worlds. We create the arousal of new providence.

Etrog- corresponds to the heart

Lullav- corresponds to the vertebra

Etz Avvot- corresponds to the eyes

Arravot- corresponds to the mouth

Thus each of the arba minim corresponds to the corresponding aspect of the person’s spiritual and physical correction.

 

The Kabbalist elder, Rabbi Eliahu Leon Levi, stresses the importance of grasping the lulav at the bottom of its stem, and not in the middle, so that the hands do not act as a barrier separating the upper spine of the lulav (the Yesod) from the etrog (the Malchut). Rather, the lulav and etrog should be held together at the bottom of the four species, so that the flow of Divine illumination from the Yesod to the Malchut, stimulated by the waving, is not interrupted.

The three hadassim (myrtle leaves) channel the energy of the sefirot of Chesed, Givorah, and Tiferet. When combined with the two aravot (willows), symbolizing Netzach and Hod, all of the seven lower sefirot are united in a perfect unity. All these Divine powers are channeled through the Lulov.

Concerning the Succah itself.

The Succah has the energy of the Clouds of glory which protected the Jewish People in the desert when they left Egypt. The Zohar teaches that these Clouds which extended like pillars towering over the encampments of the Jews, embodied the all-encompassing flow of Divine energy contained in the Yesod. Again by the Yesod all the Energy flows through.

The Ariza”l states, it is preferable to recite the blessing over the lulav, and to wave it, inside the succah. This brings about a powerful union between the all-encompassing aspect of the surrounding lights of the Yesod, the succah, with its inner aspect, the lulav. The lulov is a symbol of the spine which lies inside the body. Thus the succah becomes an electric power plant of high-voltage spiritual energy from both within and without, generating the supreme joy and renewal of the holiday.

Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Hakohen Kook, the first chief Rabbi of Israel, writes that: ”The succah inspires such supernal joy that it cannot be a permanent dwelling, only temporary. Light waves of joy continuously flow, one wave ascends and immediately, without pause, a second wave, brighter and more joyous than the first, descends and spreads.”

Rabbi Nachman of Breslov teaches that succah depends on Tikun HaBrit because the succah represents the Clouds of Glory, and those who damaged the Brit through sexual transgression were cast out by the Cloud.”

Even though the Jews were protected by the invincible Clouds of Glory on their departure from Egypt, the evil nation of Amalek succeeded in its unprompted attack, as the Torah records: ”Remember what Amalek did to you on the way of your leaving Egypt, how he met you (karcha) by the way and killed the hindermost of you who were feeble in your rear” (Devarim, 25:17-18). Rashi explains the word ”karcha” in its root meaning of ”keri,” an impure emission of semen. Rashi relates that Amalek seduced the weaker Jews into sexual transgression, and when the holy Cloud vomited them out, Amalek pounced on them and killed them. Only those Jews who guarded their sexual purity were protected by the Cloud.

Have a happy holy Holiday !

A Succah must be at least 10 “amot” high

by 7 “amot” wide, thus 70 square amot is a Succah.

This is :

י is 10 sefirot (energy of Height)

ה is 7 sefirot (energy of width)

ו is 10 sefirot (energy of Height)

ה is 7 sefirot (energy of width)

These are the potential energies we have to work with.

70 includes all the power of all the

angels that work things in this world.

They are under the command of the angel called Matto”t

(Here is more on this infinite Wisdom)

The “Thum” (depths) has 70 ”sarim” (supernal princes) that are ”chitzon” (external) that surround Aretz Yisrael.1 The 70 nations receive their flow from אלהים of “din” according to their actions, while Yisrael draws from the 13 “dikna”. Yisrael draws power from the 13 “dikna” sweetening the dinim of אלהים.2 Above “ Artz Yisrael” in the “rekia” is a opening called גבילו”ן. Under this opening are 70 others, 70 “memunim” guard them from 2000 “amot” away, in the secret of “tachum Shabat” (Shabat limit). This opening goes up and up till reaching the כסא (the throne) which is Malchut. Its authority spreads from the opening over “Aretz Yisrael” until the opening called מגדו”ן, where the “rekia” over “Aretz Yisrael” ends.1 In The Torah are 70 explanations in “loshon Hakodesh”, which is Yesod, which contains 70 sefirot of Z’a. Each of its 7 sefirot containing 10.1

1.

1Sulam on Zohar Vayikra p.20a

1.

1Sulam on Zohar Vayachal p.209b

1.

1Safer HaKanah

1.

2Tefilot Ramcha’l #303

By the Arba minim (4 Species) we can

access all these energies and reveal them

for the betterment of the world and our selves !

The exiles who returned from Babylon celebrated one of the greatest Succoth ever:

Ezra-Nechemiah 8:13-18 On the second day of the month, the heads of all the families, along with the priests and the Levites, gathered around Nehemiah the scribe to give attention to the words of the Law. They found written in the Law, which HaShem had commanded through Moses, that the Israelites were to live in booths during the feast of the seventh month. And that they should proclaim this word and spread it throughout their towns and in Jerusalem: Go out into the hill country and bring back branches from olive and wild olive trees, and from myrtles, palms and shade trees, to make booths–as it is written. So the people went out and brought back branches and built themselves booths on their own roofs, in their courtyards, in the courts of the house of God and in the square by the Water Gate and the one by the Gate of Ephraim. The whole company that had returned from exile built booths and lived in them. From the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day, the Israelites had not celebrated it like this. And their joy was very great. Day after day, from the first day to the last, Nehemiah read from the Book of the Law of God. They celebrated the feast for seven days, and on the eighth day, in accordance with the regulation, there was an assembly.

From the days of Joshua ben Nun (about 1400 B.C.E) till the days of Nehemiah (about 530 BCE) which is about 870 years

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It is so pleasant to lay down and look up through the leaf roof of the Succah and see the stars !

(תורה (611) = (65) אדנ”י + (90) פי+ סוד(70) + סכות (486

Torah= Succot is Secret of the mouth of GOD

This world, like the succah, is temporary. Rabbi Akiva advised that Succot is a way to keep us from excessive pride at the sight of our abundance of blessings, so we are told to go out in live in a “Succah”. The only constant, is GOD’s presence and our choices to respond to Him or not. The sages tell us the Succah is a mitzvah that surrounds us that can actually envelop us in the “Clouds of Glory” which God provided to protect the Hebrews in the desert when they left Egypt. at that time. The Ramchal explains, in Derech GOD, that the seven clouds of glory that surrounded us in the desert, define us. GOD envelops us; the earth and its limitations do not hold us down. From these “Clouds of Glory” we attain a higher consciousness. This consciousness gives us the ability to define ourselves uniquely according to the will of God. As when we were surrounded by the clouds of glory when we left Egypt and found our national identity. This consciousness from being surrounded by the energy of the “Clouds of Glory” –the Succah. Is alluded to by our equation :

Torah= Succot is Secret of the mouth of God

As in this environment being surrounded uniquely by God we can hear His voice, if one listens closely. Concerning “Succot is Secret of the mouth of God” The Vilna Goan teaches that the word succah uses letters from four of the five organs of the mouth which produce speech. The letter samech is from the group of letters that are formed by the teeth. The vov is from those that formed by the lips, the kof, from those formed by the palate, and the hey from the throat. The missing group is the one of the letters that is formed by the tongue. These letters are left unsaid in their natural position, surrounding the tongue. The Gaon tells us that they protect the tongue by remaining silent. Thus that which is sounded is built up on a foundation of silence. The word succah thus introduces a new concept. The word itself tells us that speech that is an offshoot of the inner silence that reflects constant awareness of the presence of GOD. In the Silence in the Succah may we merit to the conciousness of hearing from “the mouth of God”. The will will be easier for us to achieve if we silence our own mouths from speaking evil.

The Goan concludes by telling us that Succot has the power to subserviate the side of us that is drawn to evil speech. The Maharal tells us that our speech is our window to our inner lives. If we wish to experience joy and faith, part of the picture is redefining our speech. For this reason our equation states :

Torah= Succot is Secret of the mouth of God

The partition between thought and speech is so delicate, that unless we change our patterns of thought, we will find it almost impossible to change our patterns of speech.

When water is poured on the alter in the Holy Temple on Succot all receive

The Ruach HaKodesh (The Spirit of Holiness). A Succah itself is a place

Of new surrounding lights that yield Revelation.

תורה= (611)= הדבש יכפר

Torah= the Honey that will atone

As we learned before “ The honey of the Torah is the Torah’s secrets. They bring revelation of the level of one soul called “Chayah” . This is the Soul of Divine creativity and inspiration. To achieve the small still voice, Divine creativity and inspiration one must be pure and Holy. One must have atonement for past misdeeds to achieve this. The Zohar says, “Come and see! No man

is ever purified except with the words of Torah”. Therefore, it is only after we learn Torah that we remove personal impurities. Yet how we can learn secrets of Torah before purification? The answer is that this level of Torah learning, the “Sod”, secrets of the Torah its revelation requires the purity provided by atonement, so atonement is in its power. Once the inner part of our soul has been touched by Torah the outer layer is ready to grasp it and allow it to penetrate the soul. The Zohar above refers to this Godly element of our soul suggesting that Torah purifies it.

On Sukkot we receive the “Katnut” of a new higher level. The planning of the whole year work starts on Sukkot.

 


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