Vol 29.28 - Hoshanna Rabbah Spanish French Audio Video
1. Among the aspects that Hoshana Rabbah is different from the other days of Sukkot are:
All this was at the time of the Temple. Today, however, “it (the Aravah) is not taken on each of the seven days of the festival as a remembrance of the Temple. Rather, at present it is taken only on the seventh day only where we do take it in our times”. This means that on the previous days of Sukkot, there is completely no aspect of “Aravah”.
2. Another aspect in which Hoshana Rabbah is different after the destruction of the Temple (Churban) is:
The Sages were precise in the calculation of the months, in order to arrange that Hoshana Rabbah should not fall on Shabbat. When they saw that the day of the Aravah would fall on Shabbat, they used to intercalate one of the months in order that Hoshana Rabbah should be on Sunday (after the Shabbat). By doing so, they avoided having to nullify the taking of the Aravah. For it states in Talmud Yerushalmi: “R’ Simon was particular against those who thought to give their opinion that we should not perform the shofar blowing or the Aravah on Shabbat, and not to postpone blowing the shofar or taking the Aravah ”
And this was also after this (when we did not sanctify the moon through via Beit Din’s observation.) (מקדש עפ״י הראי׳). For when the establishment of the months is according to calculation, it is distinguished in a manner that Hoshana Rabbah can never fall on Shabbat.
(And according to many opinion in the Rishonim, this is the reason for the maxim “Lo Adu Rosh” (the first day of Rosh Hashanah cannot fall on Sunday, Wednesday or Friday). For if Rosh Hashanah falls on Sunday, then Hoshana Rabbah would fall on Shabbat).
Even though that regarding Shofar and Lulav “we do not concern ourselves even though the first day is Biblical”.
Tosafot (ibid 43b) asks:
How can we say that “on the day of the Aravah which is a just a remembrance for the Mikdash that we are concerned (that it not fall on Shabbat in order that we may take it) yet on those (Mitzvot) which are Biblical we are not concerned (to perform them if the day falls on Shabbat)?”
and Tosafot answers:
“Indeed regarding those Mitzvot that are expressly written in the Torah, people will not come to raise doubts about the significance of the Mitzvah in other years, whereas regarding the Aravah which is Rabbinical, they might doubt the significance of the Mitzvah”.
(And in the words of the Prisha (R’ Yehoshua Falk - a commentator on the Tur Shulchan Aruch): “and because of the fear that Yisroel not forget this Mitzvah which is easy for one to fulfill, they made a fortification to their words (Mitzvot) more than that of the Torah”)
3. All aspects of Torah are of the utmost precision. Therefore, it is understood that this itself, namely that because of the Mitzvah of Aravah, one intercalates the month in order to enable the fulfilling of the Mitzvah of Aravah, it is understood that this very Mitzvah, contains a special aspect, because of which it is distinguished from the other Mitzvot.
One can understand this by prefacing an explanation in the scope of the Mitzvah of Aravah, in general. For this was a unique Mitzvah in the Beit HaMikdash (aside from the Mitzvat Aravah that was part of the Lulav).
“How was this Mitzvah performed? On each of the seven days (of the festival), branches of willows were brought and stood upright near the altar with their tops bent over the altar. When they would bring them and arrange them (near the altar,) a series of (shofar blasts) - teki'ah, teru'ah, and teki'ah - were sounded.”
The reason that the Aravah was a unique separate Mitzvah, can be learned in two manners:
One of the differences in this in Halacha is:
According to the first manner, it must come out that the measurement of the Aravah in the Mikdash is the same measurement as the Aravah of the Lulav. Since it is the same object (Cheftza) of Aravah, in both Mitzvot.
However, according to the second manner, namely that the innovation of the Aravah in the Mikdash is, that it is a separate object of Aravah. Therefore, one could say that there is a difference between them in the measurement of the Aravah.
According to this, one could seemingly say that this is related to the dispute in the Talmud concerning the measurement of the Aravah of the Mikdash – namely whether it must have three fresh branches and leaves (similar to the Aravah of the Lulav) or whether it is sufficient for it to have even just one branch with one leaf.
More than this:
Rambam rules that:
“It is a Halacha conveyed by Moshe from Mount Sinai that we bring in the Temple another Aravah besides the Aravah of the Lulav. And a person does not fulfill his obligation with the Aravah in the Lulav. The minimum requirement (to fulfill this Mitzvah) is one branch with one leaf.”
From the precise wording of Rambam (“another Aravah besides the Aravah of the Lulav. And a person does not fulfill his obligation etc.”) it appears that this is not just a separate act and deed of the person. Rather that it is a different object of Aravah.
Therefore, because of this:
According to this, it comes out that according to Rambam’s view, this is the crux of the dispute between Abba Shaul and the Rabbis (there, in the Talmud)
(Note: The Mishnah (1:6) teaches that if ten saplings are planted in an area of a Beit Seah (2500 square Amot) then the entire area can be ploughed until Rosh Hashanah of the Shmittah year – there is no Tosefet Shvi’it (the period prior to Shmittah known as Tosefet Shvi’it. Though most of the Halachot of Shmittah are launched on Rosh Hashanah of the Shmittah year, there are some Halachot that apply in the months preceding the year). The Rash explains that these immature plants are weak and likely to dry out if the earth around it is not ploughed. The Torah was concerned for the livelihood of The Aravah of the Mikdash Yisroel and therefore did not apply Tosefet Shvi’it to saplings.)
According to Abba Shaul, since the Mitzvat Aravah is stated and is learned from the verse: Arvei Nachal” which is expressly stated regarding the Aravah of the Lulav, the o of the Aravah of the Mikdash is the same as the Aravah of the Lulav. However, we just learn out of this that there is a separate Mitzvah, or at the least a separate act of the Aravah.
However, according to the Rabbis who maintain that the Aravah of the Mikdash is a Halacha conveyed by Moshe from Mount Sinai , and its aspect and obligation does not have any relation to the verse: “Arvei Nachal” which is stated ref the Aravah of the Lulav, it can (must) come out that this Mitzvah of the Aravah also has a separate scope, a difference obligation, as aforementioned.
4. The inner explanation of why the Mitzvat Aravah is a separate category of o other than the Aravah of the Lulav is:
“Aravot are the plain folk who fulfill the Mitzvah just out of simple faith”.
One could say that with this, he brings out a depth to the words of the well-known Mishnah, namely that the Arba Minim correspond to the four categories:
From the breadth of wording of the Midrash it comes out that specifically the Etrog alluded to the category of Yidden that possess both aspect,, Torah and good deeds.
Whereas, regarding the other categories, they are lacking one part – Torah or the fulfillment of Mitzvah – or both aspect.
Regarding this, the Rebbe Rayatz explains, as he says there, that “all Yisroel are equal in the aspect of the fulfillment of Torah and Mitzvot”. This means that in all the four categories, there exists the fulfillment of both the aspect – the fulfillment of Torah and Mitzvot. The study (knowledge) of the Torah and the fulfillment of Mitzvot. and one could say that this explanation is proven. For the categories of “Lulav” – proper Torah study is also one that fulfills Mitzvot, since Torah study leads to deed (). And the person who performs good deeds (Mitzvot) also possesses knowledge of Torah. for he must know how to fulfill the Mitzvot. From this, it is also understood with regarding to the categories of Aravah. Namely, that even in the Yidden of this category there exists the (actual) fulfillment of Torah and Mitzvot.
However, the (inner) explanation of the words of the Midrash is:
The difference lies in the manner and quality of their fulfillment of Torah and Mitzvot:
And this is the difference between the four categories:
From this itself, it is understood, that even in the categories of Aravah, there is a virtue with regarding to the other three categories. As is known, the saying of the Baal Shem Tov that the simplicity of the simple folk is one thing with the simplicity of G-d.
5. The aforementioned virtue in the categories of Yidden that are Aravah – which specifically in them is manifested the aspect of simplicity - expresses itself also in the actual Aravah.
The explanation of the reason why the Mitzvah “and you shall take etc.” is known. Namely that it is manifested specifically from these four kinds, since in them it is recognizable and felt the property of Unity (Achdut)
The reason that certain things in the world have in them the aspect of unity – even though, due to the nature of the physicality () of the world, should have possessed the property of division and separate, like all the aspect of the world (Olam/world the same root as Helem/Hiddeness) – is because the Supernal simplicity () – the simple Unity () - illuminates within them. This supernal fundamental simplicity accomplishes the unity and incorporation in all of the four species, so that even visibly, their innate individuality () (due to the nature of the world) is not so much discerned. Rather their bitul, which effects in them visible unity.
However, even in this property of unity of the four species itself, one sees a difference:
In the three kinds, the Etrog, Lulav and Hadas – the unity is in each individually. It is in the leaves of the Lulav, or the branch of the Hadas themselves. (The fronds are closed, the “ “). And the same is regarding the explanation which “ “). However, it is not a unity of one Lulav, Hadas or Etrog with a second Lulav etc.
Whereas in the Aravah, which has the unity in that which one Aravah grows fraternally and in unity with the other Aravah.
And since the unity of the Aravah is in a broader manner than the other three kinds (so much so that it is in a contradictory manner than the nature of the world, which is divided and separate between one with the other), it is understood that this is because, the supernal simplicity visibly illuminates more, in it, than with the other three kinds.
This is also the reason why specifically the Aravah possesses the unity that is associated with its name – it is called Achvana (whereas regarding the other kinds).
6. One could say, that the reason of the matter (namely, why the aspect of unity is more visible in the Aravah) is connected with the aforementioned aspect itself:
By the other categories, Lulav, Etrog, and Hadas – since each one of them possesses (a quality, or) specifically advantages of intellect and Middot – it has a taste (Lulav), a smell (Hadas) or it has both of them (Etrog). These visible qualities (of intellect and Middot) hide the supernal “simplicity” which is contained within them. Therefore – regarding the aspect of unity within them (which is taken, as aforementioned, from the supernal simplicity that is within them). So much so that, one could think, that the reason that they were chosen is (not due to their unity, but) because of their qualities (taste and smell).
Whereas by the categories Aravah, which has no visible quality (it does not have a taste or smell), the aspect of unity, is visibly and plainly seen. So much so that without the reason of unity, there is no logic why the Aravah is one of the four kinds. The reason therefore is because the Simple Essence of G-d is visible in its nature and even in its name.
This is similar to what is seen in Yidden. For although Yidden possess “a veritable portion of G-d from Above” (), which is connected with simple essence of G-d. Nevertheless, one sees that those Yidden who are “wealthy” in intellect and Middot, have their simple faith overshadowed, precisely because of these visible quality. The intellect and Middot hide the simplicity and wholeheartedness () that is from the essence of the soul.
Specifically by the simple folk, who do not possess these visible quality (of intellect and Middot), possess simple faith, visibly. Their simplicity is, as aforementioned, one thing with the simplicity of G-d’s essence.
7. According to this, the innovation (and unique aspect) of the Aravah in the Mikdash versus that of the Aravah of the Lulav, is understood:
The Aravah of the Lulav, even though, in itself, does not possess any visible quality, and therefore expresses, in greater strength the quality of unity – “they grow fraternally – Achvana. Nevertheless, since one attaches and combines it together with the other three kinds, so much so that they become one Mitzvah. Therefore, the aspect of simplicity in it (which comes into revelation specifically through the lack of the other quality, as aforementioned) is not “pure” (). Through the binding and attachment with the other kinds, their quality also become added to the Aravah.
Whereas the Aravah of the Mikdash‘s Mitzvah and aspect – is a separate Aravah which does not have any connection and attachment with the other species and categories (those who possess quality ()). – This is a type of Mitzvah, in which there is no concealment due to qualities etc. the simplicity of G-d’s Essence resides in it visibly.
One could say that this the reason for the opinions that when one circles the altar seven times on Hoshana Rabbah, that the circling is only with the Lulav and its kinds and not with the Aravah, which is a separate Mitzvah.
Therefore, regarding the Aravah it states that “it is taken only in and of itself (and not with the Lulav), and a person does not fulfill his obligation with the Aravah that is bound with the Lulav”. And also its measurement is not similar to the measurement of the Aravah of the Lulav – “three fresh leaves” but “even one branch with one leaf”. This expresses that it is (not a unity that is composed of parts, but) simple unity.
8. According to this, it is understood why the Aravah of the Mikdash is a Halacha conveyed by Moshe from Mount Sinai and not an express aspect (and even not an aspect that is learned from a verse) in the Written Torah.
This is similar to what is written in Likkutei Torah regarding the difference between the water libation on the seven days of the Chag which is a Halacha conveyed by Moshe from Mount Sinai , and the wine libation which is “expressly in the Written Torah, in many places”. For the water libation is taken from a higher level than the wine libation. Therefore, it cannot come down into writing – in a form of letters of the written Torah, as is explained there, at length.
Similarly, is the quality of the Aravah of the Mikdash versus that of the Aravah of the Lulav, which did not come down expressly in a clear command in the Written Torah. For this is taken from such a level which is higher than that which can come into revelation in the Written Torah and in a form.
In a person’s soul, this is connected with such a high level of the soul, which is united with G-d – the simplicity of the soul. At such a level, a yid need not be expressly commanded in a manner of clear letters in the Written Torah.
9. According to the above, it is understood that the aspect of the Aravah, in our times,
where “we take it” only on the seventh day and (in our times) is even not an aspect of Halacha conveyed by Moshe from Mount Sinai , but rather a “Minhag of the prophets”
(and especially according to the explanation in the Rishonim that a Minhag of the prophets means (not that they lead the people to do so, but rather) a “Minhag that they were accustomed to do and the people saw and acted like them, of their own accord.
This itself is a lesson that in Pnimiyut, it is even more loftier than the Mitzvah of the Aravah of the Mikdash, which is a Halacha conveyed by Moshe from Mount Sinai. This is similar to what is written in Likkutei Torah there regarding the “Hakafot of Shmini Atzeret that is not written in the Written Torah and is just a Minhag”, that they are even loftier in their level than the water libation which is (at least) a Halacha conveyed by Moshe from Mount Sinai.
For, the aspect of Minhag Yisroel – namely that which Yidden conduct themselves so, shows that this is connected with the root of the Jewish soul, which preceded the Torah. It is higher than Torah due to that which the simplicity of Yidden is one thing with the simplicity of G-d’s essence. Therefore, it is discerned () in them also the aspect which are loftier from being drawn down into writing and form. This means it is higher than G-d’s Wisdom and Will, which were revealed in the Torah and its Mitzvot, and even in the words of the Sofrim (Rabbis). They conduct themselves so without any directive or command whatsoever.
Because of this, namely that Yidden conduct themselves so, because it is a Minhag Yisroel, this accomplishes that this becomes Torah – as it states: “Minhag Yisroel (becomes) is Torah”, as is explained in another place (Likkutei Sichot vol. 4 pg. 1166ff).
10. According to this, one can explains the inner explanation in that which the Day of the Aravah does not occur on Shabbat.
Even though plainly and outwardly, the reason why “even now we calculate that the Day of the Aravah should not occur on Shabbat” in order that the taking of the Aravah not be nullified, is because the Aravah is an easy deed and one is concerned that “one will come to “raise doubts about the significance of the Mitzvah”,and therefore they needed to fortify it (“they made a fortification to their words (Mitzvot) more than that of the Torah”) –
One could say that in Pnimiyut, the reason is - because the Aravah is connected with a loftier level. In other words, since the Aravah (which is a Minhag of the prophets) expresses itself in the simplicity of G-d’s essence in purity. Therefore, this is in a manner that one fulfills, every year, the Mitzvah of Aravah in a manner that is equal without change.
And this an aspect of strengthening a Positive Mitzvah. So much so that this effects in the time of the world, that Beit Din should intercalate the months etc. and one arranges the setting up of the calendar for all years in a manner that it should not affect the taking of the Aravah on the Day of the Aravah.
MSichas Hoshana Rabbah night 5744
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