On Sukkot We Reach the Pinnacle of Joy

20 09 2010

Sukkot – Service of the Heart
Based on a Naaleh.com shiur by Rabbi Hershel Reichman

Sukkot- Service of the Heart

In Shir Hashirim, King Shlomo movingly depicts Hashem’s profound love for the Jewish people. “B’tzilo chimaditi v’yashavti…. I have desired his shade and I have dwelt there, his fruits are sweet to my palate.” Midrashicly, this refers to the mitzvot of sukka and lulav, which are our central medium of connection to Hashem on Sukkot.  Why did Hashem need to give us two mitzvot, why was one not adequate?

The Shem MiShmuel explains that man is a dual combination of mind and heart. This is reflected in the ten sefirot, which are expressed on intellectual and emotional levels. Moshe, the paragon of intellect, and Aharon, the embodiment of emotion, were the founding fathers of the Jewish nation. Moshe’s role was primarily moach – intellect, bringing Torah to Jewry, Aharon’s purpose was lev­ – emotion, achieving harmony between man and Hashem. His prayers and service in the mishkan were the focal point of Yom Kippur. Additionally, he pursued peace and mended troubled relationships between people.

The Torah emphasizes, “Hu Aharon U’Moshe,” the role of Aharon was equal to Moshe’s. The Shem MiShmuel notes that perfection of intellect is intertwined with perfection of emotion. Both are needed to attain sheleimut. Indeed, when we examine the lives of our Torah giants we see this combination of wisdom of mind and heart.

The Gemara writes that the mitzva of sukkah serves as a remembrance to the Clouds of Glory, which were given in the merit of Aharon. The sukkah signifies the life and essence of Aharon. Aharon personified peace, fulfillment, humility, and total subservience to Hashem. This is the sukkah – modesty, harmony and completion. The lulav represents the teachings of Moshe. It is a straight line that corresponds to the direct intellectual logic of Torah. Both mitzvot help us tap into the dual essence of the holiday.

Rosh Hashana is the head of the year. It signifies a new beginning and corresponds to the soul of Moshe, who personified intellect. It is a day to think about our past deeds, make a personal reckoning, and plan for the future. Yom Kippur is lev – emotion. It symbolizes Aharon Hakohein. The Torah writes, “B’zot yavo Aharon el hakodesh.” It links Aharon specifically with the service in the Mishkan. Rav Soloveitchik notes that the essence of Yom Kippur is not so much the avodah of the kohein gadol but the avodah of Aharon who was the paragon of ahavat Hashem and ahavat Yisrael.

On Rosh Hashana we rededicate our intellect to Hashem. On Yom Kippur we reignite our souls to ahavat Hashem. All this culminates with Sukkot. Then we reach the pinnacle of joy and completion as we celebrate the melding of intellectual, emotional, and spiritual purification.

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Raving Reviews for Rebbetzin Heller’s Class ‘Elul, Rosh Hashana, and Yom Kippur for Children’

23 09 2009

Students at Naaleh.com are loving Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller’s newest class series:

Bringing Torah to Life: Deepening our Children’s Jewish Experience

The first class in this series entitled, Elul, Rosh Hashana, and Yom Kippur for Children, is helping parents prepare their children for the Yamim Noraim, High Holidays, in a very meaningful way.

One student writes in:

‘This shiur was FABULOUS!  I especially liked and used her advice about teenagers and all of her specific examples of how to relate to different aged children for Elul. Fabulous and immediately useful. Thank you. I hope you do this again for Pesach.’

Check out the class and make this year’s Holidays meaningful for the entire family!





Get Ready for Rosh Hashana and the New Year!

4 09 2009

We are halfway through in the month of Elul, a perfect time to get ready for Rosh Hashana and the new year. Naaleh.com is pleased to provide you with continuing preparation for the Yamim Noraim, the High Holidays. You can continue to delve into the Rosh Hashana Prayers with Rabbi Michael Taubes, explore the essence of Teshuva with Mrs. Shira Smiles and Rabbi Hershel Reichman, or enjoy our regular Torah classes on various topics. Take a moment to look at our latest parsha weekly, the Torat Imecha, by clicking here for the printable version. May we all be blessed with an inspired New Year!





Elul and Rosh Hashana: Days of Closeness and Awe

27 08 2009

Elul and Rosh Hashana: Days of Closeness and Awe

A collection of NEW inspiring Shiurim/classes on the month of Elul and the Chagim/High Holidays by various Na’aleh lecturers.

The first class in this collection is Elul: The Sweetness of Tikkun Hamidot by Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller:

In this class on Elul and repentance, Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller describes the sweetness of returning to Hashem through correcting one’s character traits, and outlines four systems for Tikun Hamidot. The methods of the Rambam, the Ba’al HaTanya, Sefer Cheshbon Hanefesh, and R’ Nachman MiBreslov are all described in detail.