Vol 24.31 - Chag HaSukkot        Spanish French Audio  Video

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(5742) Two viewpoints (according to Tal. Taanit 3a) if the Water Drawing (and Libation) precedes the taking of the Lulav or not - In spriitual Avodah  


1. Concerning the rejoicing (simcha) on Sukkot, we find that in addition to the obligation of simcha which is due to it being Yom Tov,

( which is because of Yom Tov in general and specifically since it is the “time of our rejoicing”),

there are also rejoicings (Simchot) which are connected with certain acts that are performed on Sukkot.

(One of them is) the simcha which is connected with taking the Arba Minim on this Chag (holiday), as it states: “You shall take for yourselves, on the first day etc and you should rejoice before G-d for seven days” - which is the simcha of Lulav.

And (another is) the simcha which is connected to the Water Libation, the water drawing that

 which we poured on Sukkot on the Altar and which we drew the water on the evening before the pouring (and also)

was with rejoicing (as it states) : “And you should draw water with gladness from the springs of salvation”

(Concerning) The order of the two simcha’s, namely, which one precedes the other, is dependent on a dispute if the Tanaim, as to when the Water Libation begins:

  • According to one opinion, the Water Libation begins on the second say of Sukkot (in the morning). And accordingly, the water drawing for the first time was on the evening preceding the second day, which was after the time of taking the Arba Minim which was on the first day.
  • However, the Halacha is like the second opinion that “the Water Libation is performed all seven days”. Therefore, the first water drawing was on the first evening of the Chag - before the taking of the Arba Minim, whose Mitzvah is during the day.

2. There is a maxim in Torah, “both are the words of Living G-d”. Therefore it is understood that both opinions have a place in spirituality – including the opinion that the Water Drawing begins on the second evening of the Chag.

Yet, even according to the Halacha, that the Water Drawing was on the first evening of the Chag, nevertheless the (completeness) of Simchat Beit HaShoeva,

the “increased simcha” which was accomplished with flutes (Chalil) ( and musical instruments)

first started on the end of the first Yom Tov (since it involved musical instruments)

And even though the (prohibition of using musical instruments) is seemingly because of an unrelated reason, “it is one at the side of which a lion crouches”

(Note: This is a metaphor for something that is technically permitted yet forbidden by a rabbinical prohibition. The actual case involved a tree that, while normally Muktzah, was designated as a ladder, technically making it permissible to use. However, although the tree may be considered a valid ‘doorway’, it cannot be used on account of a Rabbinical prohibition that treats it as an ordinary open door that has a “lion crouching beside it” and would not actually be used (because it would be too dangerous). c.f Erubin 78b))

For a flute. . does not override Shabbat or Yom Tov –

Which is why nowadays, when Simchat Beit HaShoeva is not connected with “flutes” and, as has been mentioned many times, one could say that “the spoiling makes it fit” (kilkuloseinu zuhi tikunoseinu – meaning a positive outcome from a negative situation) – the Simchat Beit HaShoeva starts in many aspects with the same intensity from the first night of Sukkot.

Nevertheless, since every aspect in Torah is exact, It is understood that, that which the “increased simcha” (in the Temple) actually started on the “end of the first Yom Tov”, is because that , at that time it is more fitting to the subject of simcha – Namely, that the “Simchat Yom Tov” (as it was in the Temple) can truly begin on the “end of the first Yom Tov” and afterwards.

3. We can understand this by prefacing an explanation concerning the connection (in Pnimiyut) of (specifically) the Water Drawing to the Chag of Sukkot:

One of the differences between the Wine Libation (where song is only said on wine) to the Water Libation is:

The simcha of the Wine Libation is also connected with man’s nature. Like the happiness which generally comes about through wine. Therefore since wine is something which naturally gladdens,

Namely, that even though the Wine Libation is a holy simcha, and connected with the Avodah of the Temple,

It also has a connection with man’s nature.

and like the Mitzvah of Simchat Yom Tov, which must be connected with actual wine, (as it states: “there is no simcha except with wine” – nevertheless a Yid’s drinking of wine, is not because of a craving, G-d forbid, but, rather, because of fulfilling a Mitzvah. Therefore, also the simcha which comes from that is not due to the wine itself (like a non-Jew) but rather because of the Mitzvah that is associated with it, the simcha of a Mitzvah. And even more so, the drinking of the wine is the Mitzvah

Jews are “a unique nation on Earth”. This means that even one’s physical body (Earth) is a “unique nation” and “holy nation”. From this it is understand, that even the simcha which the Jewish body feels at that time, really comes about from the holiness and the Mitzvah that is in the wine.

Nevertheless, since the simcha is connected specifically with wine,

(as it states: “There is no simcha except with wine”), and reason is, according to the simple meaning of Torah, because it naturally awakens simcha,

it is therefore understood that, that the simcha, resulting from the Mitzvah, has a connection to the nature and properties of the world ( i.e the nature of wine)

However, the simcha which is connected with the Water Drawing on the Altar - where water is not something that naturally gladdens – shows that that the simcha resulting from the Water Drawing has no connection to the aspects of Nature. It comes entirely because of the Mitzvah of G-d that: ”You should draw water with simcha”.

And this is the advantage of Water Drawing over the Wine Libation:

  • By the Wine Libation, since the simcha has a grasp in the nature of Creation, it is limited and confined by the boundaries of Nature.
  • However, at the Water Drawing, where the simcha comes completely from the command of G-d, which is Infinite (Ein Sof), the resulting simcha is also above limitation and boundary.

4. It is explained and known, that in every Yid there is a “spiritual Altar”. Therefore it is understood, that the two types of simcha on the Water Drawing and Wine Libation on the Altar, also are found within the spiritual Altar of every Yid:

  • The simcha of the Wine Libation, in Avodat HaAdam, - represents a simcha of a Mitzvah which comes as a result of intellectual thought. When a Yid contemplates the tremendous merit, in which G-d gave him the ability to fulfill a Mitzvah, and what is accomplished through his fulfilling a Mitzvah (that through the Mitzvah he becomes connected and attached to G-d) – this evokes within him a great simcha.

However since the simcha is connected with intellect and thought, it is in a manner, that he feels his ego. Thus, in addition to the Mitzvah, he feels that he is an entity who is fulfilling the Mitzvah (similar to the simcha which comes about through wine, as aforementioned)

And since the simcha is “grafted to intellect” (Murkevet b’Hasaga”), it is a simcha that is limited according to intellect.

  • However the simcha of the Water Drawing is an example of a simcha of a Mitzvah which is higher than intellect and thought. For when a Yid is in a state of self-sacrifice (Mesirut Nefesh), (and) he gives himself over, entirely to G-d – he does not need to resort to intellectual reason, (for the tremendous aspect of a Mitzvah). As soon as he hears that this is a command from G-d (“and He commanded us”), it emotes within him a great simcha.

And the resulting simcha is a “true simcha“ which has no boundaries (because it is attained with the essence of the soul which is above revealed powers). Therefore, the Sages state specifically about this simcha (from the Water Drawing) that: ”Whoever did not see the Water Drawing (is as if he) never saw simcha in his life”

5. And this is also the general connection of Simchat Beit HaShoeva to Chag HaSukkot:

The simcha of Sukkot, the time of our rejoicing, comes from the Avodah and aspects which were accomplished on Rosh Hashanah, the Aseret Yemei Tesuhvah and Yom Kippur. As is known, the aspect of the Schach (covering) of the Sukkah (which is derived from the Clouds of Glory) is drawn down through the Aspect of the Ketores (incense) of Yom Kippur.

The Avodah of Yom Kippur - “once a year” – is from Yechidah - the connection of the essence of the soul with G-d’s essence, (essence to Essence - “Yechida l’Yachdoch”). And the innovation of Sukkot is that, specifically this connection to G-d should be drawn down into revelation, so much so, that a Yid is completely enveloped with all of its aspects.

And this is also reflected in the actual Mitzvah of Sukkah – “You shall dwell in Sukkot seven days – dwelling as if residing”. All of the things that one does in his house (eating, drinking etc.) are surrounded with the Mitzvah of Sukkah.

Which is the advantage and addition over the Mitzvah of Talit; A Talit surrounds a Yid’s head and the majority of his torso; whereas a Sukkah surrounds all aspects of a Yid, without limitations

And therefore Chag HaSukkot is the time of Water Drawing and Simchat Beit HaShoeva which is a simcha that surpasses reason and comprehension, as aforementioned, because Sukkot draws out a simcha which is above limitation and boundary.

6. It is known that the Mitzvah of Lulav (Arba Minim) is, in its nature, not a separate Mitzvah which must be performed in the time of seven days of Sukkot, but rather one that has a connection and comes as a result to the Mitzvah of Sukkah.

as is also understood from the law that “The Mitzvah of taking the Lulav” in the Sukkah, is the best way of performing the Mitzvah (Mitzvah min HaMuvchar)

A Sukkah encompasses within it, a Yid, with all of his aspects, in a manner that it surrounds him from without. As Chassidus terms it – Makif. And the innovation of the Mitzvah of taking the Arba Minim is -“You shall take for yourselves” (inwardly). The Makif of the Sukkah becomes “yours” - it is drawn into the Pnimiyut (essence).

And this is the reason that when (performing the Mitzvah of the) taking the Arba Minim one must place it on the heart, in order that its aspects should also be drawn down into the (emotions of the) heart, for the “heart branches out to all sides” (liba paleg l’chol sheifen)– into all of the (powers of every) organ including the intellect of the mind

And specifically through this, the Mitzvah of Sukkot (the revelation of Makif) is complete, even though the Avodah stemming from the innermost powers is limited and bounded,

which is why it requires the Avodah of self-sacrifice (Mesirut Nefesh) which is above the confines of intellect (as mentioned earlier regarding the advantage of the Water Drawing over the Wine Libation) –

Nevertheless, the completeness of the Avodah of self-sacrifice is (specifically) when the Bitul and Mesirat Nefesh includes the innermost powers, intellect and Middot, that they also should compel the aspect of Mesirat Nefesh, because:

  1. Only through this, is the motion of Mesirat Nefesh absorbed in the person with Pnimiyut
  2. This depicts the absence of limitation in the Bitul and Mesirat Nefesh, showing that there is no place in the soul where they cannot reach  and have an influence.

7. According to all of the above, one can also understand the inner reason for the opinion that the Water Drawing (with the Simchat Beit HaShoeva) begins on the (second evening of Sukkot) after taking the Arba Minim.

Just as the completeness of the Avodah of Mesirut Nefesh in general, is accomplished by the motions of Mesirut Nefesh encompassing the innermost powers. How much more so, is this regarding the simcha that results from that Avodah since:

  • An awakening of simcha is specifically through something that becomes revealed tangibly.
  • True simcha is when it does not have any limitations – the completeness of simcha from an aspect that is above one’s intellectual reasoning and when the aspect is absorbed not just in the level of Makif (transcendence), but specifically when it comes down in a Pnimiyut (an innermost manner)

From this it is understand why the simcha of the Water Drawing

(whose topic is that of the simcha which comes from the aspect of the Sukkah, as aforementioned Par 5)

begins on the (second evening of Sukkot) after the Avodah of: “You shall take for yourselves on the first day” –

For after a Yid has accomplished (the Avodah of) “on the first day”, through taking the Arba Minim, that the Makif of the Sukkah is drawn down into “Yourselves”, in a Pnimiyut -

Then the person has the capacity (on the second evening of Sukkot ) to : “Draw water with gladness “ (which is above intellect); The Avodah of Mesirut Nefesh, which is above intellect, draws all of his innermost powers and awakens a true and revealed simcha

8. Nevertheless, the Halacha is that also on the first day of Sukkot the Water Libation occurred and therefore it required aforetime the Water Drawing – and since there must be “Draw water with gladness “, it is understand that also this drawing was with a simcha (that is permitted)

For, since even before the fulfillment of “And you shall take”, namely from the first moment of the evening of the first night, there existed the innovation of the Schach (covering) of the Sukkah (which represents) the level of Makif, which is the reason for the simcha of Yom Tov on the first night of Sukkot – Therefore, even then, the aspect of Simchat Beit HaShoeva is relevant, that there should be simcha from the drawing and from the level of “water”, which is above the reasoning of intellect.

However, since the aspect of the Sukkah is only a manifestation of Makif, that simcha, therefore, is also incomplete, and not so readily apparent.

Only after the Avodah of taking the four kinds – “You shall take for yourselves” which represents the drawing of Makif into Pnimiyut – is the Simchat Beit HaShoeva with the entire uproar (shturem), with “flutes” (chalil) (and other musical instruments)

9. Therefore one can understand, that now, in the time of Galut, the beginning of the Simchat Beit HaShoeva on the first night of Sukkot, is like a Minhag Yisroel in all places.

The main aspect of the drawing of Makif into Pnimiyut was during the time of the Beit HaMikdash, when G-dliness was visibly revealed and in an innermost manner (pnimiyut), and the Avodah was (primarily) with one’s innermost powers (kochot).

However, in the time of Galut, when “We have not seen our signs” (ososeinu lo ra’eenu) etc., the beginning and preparation of the Avodah is not (so much) with one’s innermost faculties. The main Avodah is from self-sacrifice (mesirat nefesh) (and the transcendental powers). Simply, this is (the aspect of) “not being deterred because of the scoffers” (al yavush m'pnei hamaligim), and “Be bold as a leopard and swift as an eagle, run like a deer and be brave as a lion (to do the will of your Father in Heaven)” (which surpasses one’s intellect). Therefore, nowadays, one is not (as) attentive to the quality and advantage of the second night of Sukkot,

(when the manifestation of drawing Makif into Pnimiyut has already been accomplished by taking the four kinds (“You shall take for yourselves”)

compared to the first night.

However, since all aspects of Torah are eternal, the advantage of Simchat Beit HaShoeva of the second night of Sukkot also manifests itself (dricht zich ois) even in our times – in the tremendous rejoicing in and of itself - For one magnifies the rejoicing of the second night, so much so that it surpasses the rejoicing of the first night, so much so that it is in a manner that it as if the (entire) Simchat Beit HaShoeva starts on the second night

However, because of this very reason it comes out, that there is an advantage of Simchat Beit HaShoeva in our times compared to the Simchat Beit HaShoeva that occurred in the times of the Temple.

Just as it has been explained regarding self-sacrifice itself, that during Galut, where the innermost powers are not (so much) revealed that the power of mesirat nefesh is more revealed that it was during the time of the Temple - the same applies to the simcha that pertains to this Avodah – which is the simcha of the Water Libation, as aforementioned – that during the time of Galut this is a higher level of simcha, that comes from the essence of the soul.

M’Sichas second night of Sukkot – after Maariv - 5741


http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/92423/jewish/Sukkos.htm pp. 211-219
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