|Week of September 27, 2009 Shabbat Sukkot, 15th Tishrai 5770|
The reading of the Torah this Shabbat is a special reading for the Holiday of Sukkot. There are Torah readings each day for 7 days culminating in a reading of the whole book of Deuteronomy after Midnight on the Seventh Day which we refer to as Hoshana Rabah. HoShana Rabah means Large Thanks. Sukkot is usually translated as Booths or Temporary Stucture.
The Torah readings are as follows:
1. 15th of Tishrai - October 3 2009 - Reading is Leviticus Chapter 22 Verse 26 to Chapter 23 Verse 44 a total of 52 Verses.
2. 16th of Tishrai - October 4 2009 - Reading is Leviticus Chapter 22 Verse 26 to Chapter 23 Verse 44 a total of 52 Verses.
3. 17th of Tishrai - October 5 2009 - Reading is Numbers Chapter 29 Verse 17 to Verse 25 a total of 9 Verses. Please note this is a continuation of the 5 verses which is the Maftir of the First and Second day of Sukkot.
4. 18th of Tishrai - October 6 2009 - Reading is Numbers Chapter 29 Verse 20 to Verse 28 a total of 9 Verses. Please note that this has a duplication of 6 Verses from the day before.
5. 19th of Tishrai - October 7 2009 - Reading is Numbers Chapter 29 Verse 23 to Verse 31 a total of 9 Verses.Please note that this has a duplication of 6 Verses from the day before.
6. 20th of Tishrai - October 8 2009 - Reading is Numbers Chapter 29 Verse 26 to Verse 34 a total of 9 Verses.Please note that this has a duplication of 6 Verses from the day before.
7. Hoshana Rabah - 21st of Tishrai - October 9 2009 - Reading is Numbers Chapter 29 Verse 26 to Verse 34 a total of 9 Verses. Please note that this is a duplicate of the day before. Also during the night before the Book of Deuteronomy is read by the Kabbalists as part of the ritual of "Checking of the Shadow".
There are many unusual rituals during these seven days including Bait HaShuEvah. The description of this is pouring of the water. Another unusual ritual is the Shaking of the 4 species; The Hakafot or circling while saying Hoshana - Thank you. There is also the ritual at the end of Hoshana Rabah described as the breaking of the willows.
There is also the "checking of the Shadows" on Hoshana Rabah as well.
This email is too short to discuss each of these unusual rituals in appropriate details. The one main point i wish to discuss relates to the Maftir and the similar readings on each day of Chol HaMoed Sukkot.
I usually do not speak of the Maftir when discussing the Torah reading. Yet i consider the Maftir of Sukkot so important that this email will discuss it in depth.
Each week there is a Maftir reading which, on an energy basis, channels the Light of the Torah reading to be revealed in the Vessel of the Haftara reading. The Haftara is a reading in the Neviim or Prophets that relates to the energy of the Shabbat. The Haftara is also an example of the spiritual Law - There is no disappearance in Spirituality. The physical cause of the Haftara reading took place during the Roman occupation of the Land of Israel.
The Romans passed legislation that made it a crime to read the Torah Schroll in public. Our sages knew that this would be tandemount to the spiritual destruction of the Jewish people. They developed a plan that changed the meaning of the word Torah. They taught the Romans the understanding which has caused some of us to misunderstand the word Torah from that point to this in world History. Prior to this the word Torah meant (and still does) all of the knowledge of the spritual worlds. The sages explained to the Romans that the word Torah only referred to the Schroll of the Torah or the 5 books of Moshe called the Chumash. The Neviim was not Torah and thus could be read publicly without breaking the Roman decree.
Once the decree was rescinded we started to read the Torah Schroll again but were left with the issue of what to do about the Haftara reading. The sages decreed that we would read both and institued the process of the Maftir to connect the two readings. We learn from this decision the spiritual law "There is no disappearance in spirituality". This is a very important spiritual law that needs to be understood how it applies in our daily lives. Each action has a spiritual cause. Therefore there is a Reshimo (spiritual impression) left from each action. Speak a word, Move a box on your shelf at home, Light a candle, Put a Mezuzah on your doorpost, or any action that one does NEVER DISAPEARS. Think about what this means to you. How does it change what you do. Learn this lesson/law well! LIve with it clearly!
There are 52 Verses read on Shabbat Sukkot. The meaning of 52 was discussed in the Parasha of Hazinu last week. Please review that email.
There are a total of 63 verses read during the Maftir and the readings of Chol Hamoed Sukkot. Many of these verses are duplicates of the verses read the day before. On a physical level we know that the Halacha says we must read 3 Aliyot of at least 3 Verses each for a total of 9 Verses each reading. That is the number of Verses read each day of Chol HaMoed Sukkot. Yet the Kabbalah teaches us that the cause of something is never physical but always spiritual. The reason for the 3 Verses and 9 Verses for a reading relates to the 3 columns and the understanding of the Spherah of Yesod. I will leave you to ponder the spiritual reasons for the duplicates. A hint is to look at the discussion below.
The Holiday of Sukkot actually starts on the 11th of Tishrai (according to Rabbi Issac Luria) and physically reaches our world on the 15th of Tishrai. The energy of Sukkot is Chesed or Mercy. It is these 11 days (from 11th to the 21st of Tishrai) that are the building of our fullfillment (as part of our process of renewal during the 22 days of Chagim).
The reading of the Maftir, each day during Sukkot is the reading of the Sacrifices that were done in the Temple when it was built. These Sacrifices include sacrificing 13 Bulls the first day; 12 the second day; 11 the third day; 10 the fourth day; 9 the fifth day; 8 the sixth day; and 7 on Hoshana Rabah. When we realize that the sum of 13+12+11+10+9+8+7 equals 70 we can make the connection that the energy from these sacrifices belong to the 70 nations of the world.
We can also make the connection to understand that the Jewish Nation during this period of Mercy called Sukkot have the responsibility to draw this energy of Mercy into our physical world and share this energy with the 70 nations. When we do this properly the Nations are fulfilled. When we do not do this properly the souls of the Nations feel a lack and they strike out (with the permission of Hashem) at the Jewish Nation which is the cause of their lack (by not doing this sharing properly). This is called Anti-Semitism.
Do you want to stop Anti-semitism? Follow these 2 actions:
1. Make it your business to Shake the 4 species EACH DAY of Sukkot! This brings the energy of Mercy into our physical world using the Antenae for this metaphysical energy we call a Sukka or temporary booth.
2. Then make it your buisness to hear the reading on EACH DAY of Sukkot. If you are unable to hear the reading EACH DAY make it your business to read the appropriate section of a Chumash EACH DAY of Sukkot.
Please have the consciousness during these 2 actions to have the following Kavenot.
There are two Kavenot (directed intention)to have during the above actions. The first is to share the light of Mercy with the 70 nations - FOR the WHOLE YEAR of Taf Shin Ayin.(This is the name of the New Year and please see the email for Nitzavim Vayelech to understand the meaning of this name).
An additional meaning for Jewish people during the period of Sukkot is to learn to appreciate what HaShem provides for each of us. This also allows us to strengthen our connection to the energy of CERTAINTY which is a tool we use to make changes in our lives and our world.
To explain and understand this connection to CERTAINTY we have the following:
The Mitzvah of Sukkot is to "DWELL" in Booths. This means to move out of our comfortable houses with most of our material wealth left behind in our normal homes and Live (Eat, Sleep, and Study) in the Sukka. Why did HaShem give us this Mitzvah. To develop Trust or Certainty in the Mercy of HaShem. To use this time of living in the Sukka to realize how uncertain
life without our creator managing our lives (in his concealed manner) would be.
(will it be too cold; too hot; too public; )
It is through this contemplation that we reach the level of strengthening our connection to CERTAINTY!
Have a beautiful Shabbat! Have a beautiful Sukkot! Have a beautiful year!
Enjoy the Reading!
P. S. I really suggest you read last years email to help you understand this years. The link is on the left near the top. It will help you to understand what is written here.
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One of the main purposes of the Mitzvah of Hearing the Torah on Shabbat Morning is to receive the Metaphysical Energy we will need during the next week. Please strive to hear the Torah Reading each week for this benefit.
Chanoch Ben Yaacov
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