Sukkos; Tiferes I cannot remember where most of this came from, so sorry for not quoting it’s ‘owner.’ But I do remember the gist of things, so here goes… The 3 regalim (‘foot festivals’) correspond to the 3 avos. In this match, sukkos apparently corresponds to Yaakov Avinu. In what way? The middah most potent in Yaakov Avinu is that of torah & tiferes. This means the total ability to use everything to serve HaShem; that all physical things can be used to achieve avodas HaShem, if used correctly. The process began with Avraham, but its full projection was in Yaakov, who was the father of the 12 tribes who then formed our nation; hence our name Bnei/Am Yisrael after Yaakov’s other name Yisrael. Thus, the name Yaakov is made up of yud ekev. Yud has the numerical value of 10 ie kedusha; 10 commandments, 10 is a minyan, Yom Kippur on the 10th (yud is smallest letter, since kedusha itself is not physical - it can be reached via the physical though), etc whilst ekev means the heel, which is the lowest part of the body both physically and spiritually. For example, the heel is the furthest from the kedusha of the brain and neshama, and nearest the physical ground. Yaakov means, therefore, putting the yud (kedusha) into the ekev ie even sanctifying the lowest of physical parts of the body. (R Tatz). This is also why Yaakov’s 12 sons started the Jewish people - each with their different middos and aspects (eg Yissaschar’s supporting Torah and Zevulun learning Torah, and apparently each month signifies the attribute of each tribe) - came together to form one whole; the Bnei Yisrael. Again, the point is one of tiferes - using all the different aspects to connect to HaShem...


The point is seen by a lovely Chassidishe pshat in a gemarra. The gemarra brachos (35a) asks the following contradiction: On the one hand the pasuk says ‘The land and that which fills it belongs to HaShem (‘l’HaShem haaretz umelo’a’) , but on the other it says the land was given to the people (vehaaretz nasan livnei adam). So who owns the land?! And the gemarra answers kan kodem bracha kan l’achar bracha, meaning (as per Rashi) that before the bracha the food belongs to HaShem, and after one makes a bracha then HaShem permits us to have it. But the chassidishe explanation is the reverse; before a bracha the food belongs to you, but after (ie via) the bracha you have shown that the food really belongs to HaShem and have thus uplifted it to being used in the service of HaShem. In light of this, we can understand why sukkos corresponds to Yaakov Avinu, for sukkos is the middah of tiferes too. We take the raw materials of the land; the 4 (natural) species and schach and uplift them and us in using them to serve HaShem. So too is the mitzvah of sitting in the sukkah one of the only mitzvos one can do with their entire bodies; again demonstrating the idea (amongst others) that the entire spectrum of the physical body is being used to serve HaShem. [And for trivia, the other mitzvah is yishuv eretz yisrael, as well as debatably mikvah and perhaps coming into the mikdash] [In fact, perhaps it is precisely because we have just gone through a cleansing process of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur that we can embark on this sukkos mission of uplifting the physical. For uplifting the physical contains its dangers; one can get caught up in the physical itself - hateva (nature) is from the root litvoa (to drown) yet has gematria as Elokim. But because we maintain the focus of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, we can accomplish this mission. In fact, the shaking of the lulav is said to be the sign of victory in judgement of RH/YK, perhaps for this reason.

The same idea is true of Shabbes; we have more neshama potency on Shabbes, yet we do more physical things; eg eat. Why? Since the greater neshama-ness indeed allows us to have more to balance the intake of physical and be able to uplift it.] And this is a reason for sukkos being simchah yeteira; an extra degree of simcha; the culmination of which was the simchas beis HaShoeva and the nisuch hamayim where they poured water onto the mizbayach in the Beis Hamikdash. And the gemarra says that anybody who did not see the simchas beis hashoeva had not seen simcha in their life. Again, the idea is taking the most physical (water) and using it to connect to its Source. Perhaps one can go one level deeper with the comparison to Yaakov Avinu. When Avraham received his extra heh in his name, it became forbidden to call him by his previous name (brachos 13a). Yet regarding Yaakov, even after he received his name of Yisrael, HaShem Himself still called him Yaakov. Why? Since Avraham’s new name reflected a change of personality; from ‘father to Aram’ to ‘father to the entire world’ (brachos 13a). Thus, called him by his old name would be completely wrong and even derogatory, akin to called the Queen of England the Queen of Fallowfields (lehavdil). Whilst Yaakov’s new name Yisrael did not reflect a change in character, rather an added dimension/aspect to his existing character. Yaakov was to be the individual strength, and Yisrael refers to the ability to shine as the communal and start a nation; we are called Bnei Yisrael and not Bnei Yaakov. Consequently, still calling him Yaakov is true and accurate; it just refers to one of 2 qualities. And again (back to the tiferes thing!) both the individual and the communal are used to serve HaShem. The same is mirrored in sukkos; there are two main mitzvos unique to sukkos over other yomim tovim; the 4 minim and the sukkah, which bring out the qualities of Yaakov and Yisrael respectively. The 4 minim symbolise the individual aspect, and the sukkah is that of the communal. For example, the 4 minim in halacha must belong to you in order to do the mitzvah with them (the individual), whilst the sukkah is that of the communal; the gemarra (sukkah 27b) says that every single Jew could sit in the same one massive sukkah, and we invite in the ushpizin guests too. And again, we use both of this aspects in our full simchah-service of HaShem. Have a great sukkos

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