web analytics
April 27, 2015 / 8 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

The Connection Between Yom Kippur And Sukkot

YU-091313

Every motza’ei Yom Kippur, a bat kol announces, “Go eat your bread with joy and drink your wine with a merry heart, for the Lord has already accepted your deeds” (Kohellet 9:7).

Chazal explain (Midrash Rabbah, Kohellet) that this bat kol comes to inform us that HaKadosh Baruch Hu has forgiven all of our previously-committed aveiros and that a new cheshbon begins from this point. “Go eat your bread,” says the bat kol, “for your prayers have already been accepted.” From this midrash, we see that the y’mei hadin end on motza’ei Yom Kippur.

On the other hand, we know that y’mei hadin end on Hoshanah Rabbah, a day on which more time is spent in prayer, with some staying awake all night. This leads us to ask: When do the y’mei hadin really end? At first glance we seem to be faced with a contradiction in the words of Chazal – first they tell us that the y’mei hadin end on motza’ei Yom Kippur, and then they tell us that the y’mei hadin in fact end on Hoshanah Rabbah.

In Nechemia (8:17), the navi tells us that when the b’nei hagolah returned to Eretz Yisrael they built sukkot, “which they had not done since the days of Yehoshua bin Nun.” The Gemara in Erchin challenges this, wondering if it is really possible that they had not built sukkot since the time of Yehoshua bin Nun. Certainly in the time of David HaMelech, for instance, B’nei Yisrael built sukkot! Rather, what the pasuk means is that the b’nei hagolah had protection from the yetzer hara of avodah zara; Ezra, like none before him, requested the bittul (nullification) of this yetzer hara, which the pasuk likens to the protection of a sukkah. This leads us to our second question: How does a sukkah represent the bittul of the yetzer hara of avodah zara?

In order to understand the answers to these questions, as well as their application to us, we must ask a third question: The first time we find a sukkah in the Torah is in Parashat Vayishlach. After Yaakov and Eisav go their separate ways, the Torah tells us that Yaakov built sukkot for his livestock, and that he subsequently named that area Sukkot. Later, in Parashat Massei, the Torah mentions sukkot again, telling us that Bnei Yisrael made camp in Sukkot after leaving Raamses. The Torah is eternal, its words bearing infinite meaning for all the generations; why is it so important that we know today of Yaakov’s, and later Bnei Yisrael’s, encampment in Sukkot?

The Gemara in Berachot (4b) teaches that we must juxtapose geulah and tefillah. The Gemara challenges this ruling based on the fact that in Maariv we say Hashkiveinu between the bracha of ga’al Yisrael and the Shemoneh Esrei, interrupting between geulah and tefillah, and answers that the bracha of Hashkiveinu is considered a geulah arichta, an extension of our reference to geulah. What we are to understand from this answer is that every geulah, personal or communal, is destined to collapse if the beneficiaries don’t request shemirah for that geulah. Hashkiveinu is a geulah arichta – the shemirah of “Shomer amo Yisrael” is essential for the preservation of the geulah of “ga’al Yisrael.”

This shemirah is represented by the sukkah – a fragile structure made of cheap, flimsy wood, without a door, without a lock, without an alarm system. The sukkah makes a statement: we don’t need any external protection; HaKadosh Baruch Hu’s protection is more than enough. Indeed, in the bracha of Hashkiveinu itself we refer to the protection represented by the sukkah: “Ufros aleinu sukkat shelomecha, Spread over us the sukkah of Your peace.”

With our new understanding of the relationship between geulah and shemirah, we can now resolve the apparent contradiction in Chazal regarding the conclusion of the y’mei hadin. In reality, the y’mei hadin end on motza’ei Yom Kippur. This end, however, is only in the sense of geulah. The geulah of motza’ei Yom Kippur is reinforced by Sukkot and Hoshanah Rabbah, when we spend more time in tefillah requesting shemirah of our positive judgment.

Yehoshua bin Nun’s conquest of Eretz Yisrael was a tremendous geulah. However, he did not ask Hashem for shemirah of this geulah. (The Gemara in fact faults him for this.) When Ezra returned to Eretz Yisrael after seventy years of galut, he requested shemirah of this geulah through a bittul of the yetzer hara of avodah zara, which protected the b’nei hagolah like a sukkah.

About the Author: Rabbi Meir Goldwicht is the Joel and Maria Finkle Visiting Israeli Rosh Yeshiva at YU-Affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Connection Between Yom Kippur And Sukkot

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), co-sponsor of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act.
Iran Legislative Compromises may Cause Nuclear Explosion in Washington
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

In her diary, Anne Frank wrote words that provided hope for a humanity faced with suffering.

Leff-042415

The Arizal taught this same approach, making the point that the Torah would never mention wicked people and their sins if there was not great depth involved from which we are to learn from.

Staum-042415

Humility is not achieved when all is well and life is peachy but rather when times are trying and challenging.

In order to be free of the negative consequences of violating a shvu’ah or a neder, the shvu’ah or neder themselves must be annulled.

“I accept the ruling,” said Mr. Broyer, “but would like to understand the reasoning.”

He feared the people would have a change of heart and support Rechavam.

Ramifications Of A Printers Error
‘The Note Holder’s Burden of Proof’
(Kesubos 83b)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

In this case one could reason that by applying halach achar harov we could permit the forbidden bird as well.

“What a way to spend a Sunday afternoon,” my husband remarked. “Well, baruch Hashem we are safe, there was no accident, and I’m sure there is a good reason for everything that happened to us,” I mused.

The answer to this question is based on one of the greatest shortcomings of man – self-limiting beliefs.

Myth that niddah=dirty stopped many women from accepting laws of family purity and must be shattered

In every generation is the challenge to purge the culture of our exile from our minds and our hearts

Rabbi Fohrman connects the metzora purification process with the korban pesach.

The day after Israel was declared a State, everyone recited Hallel and people danced in the streets.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Goldwicht
YU-091313

This shemirah is represented by the sukkah – a fragile structure made of cheap, flimsy wood, without a door, without a lock, without an alarm system.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/the-connection-between-yom-kippur-and-sukkot/2013/09/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: