Jewish Soul Journey

DWELLING IN SUKKAH CONSCIOUSNESS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR

                                                                                                                                                                  Once
again we find ourselves standing at the entranceway to the season of Sukkos. Have
we ever taken the occasion to consider the meaning of a mitzvah that we
literally step into and dwell within  for
seven full days?

            From
Caterpillar to Butterfly

            Just
as we can observe dramatic changes within the creation, such as the transition
of the relatively graceless dawdling caterpillar into a gracefully airborne
butterfly, so also we at times observe quite dramatic changes in the course of
our lives. Examples of these milestones our when we learned how to walk and
talk, graduated, became engaged, began a new job or moved. However, when it
comes to spiritual growth, unless we pay close attention to the subtle changes
inside of ourselves, we can pass through the various stages of development and
transformation without being fully aware of them.

            The sukkah can serve as our
spiritual cocoon

             In order for us to begin dwelling in sukkah
consciousness we need to remove any “roofs” of perceptual limitation and
replace them with the supernal lattice –s’chach –which allows us to widen our
spiritual horizons. By understanding the connection between the halachas of
the s’chach and ourselves , we can begin to peer through the gaps and gaze into
the supernal realms of our lives.
 

              The Sukkah can be seen as a form of
concretized prayer which contains all the components necessary for our
spiritual metamorphosis. The mitzvah of sukkah is one of those divinely
constructed conduits that enables us to make that smooth transition to the next
level of our avodas Hashem. This transformation is made available to us through
the halachas of the sukkah.

            The
sukkah in a metaphysical sense is like a human being with a body and a soul, as
it is composed of both earthly and heavenly components.  This duality is reflected in the s’chach  which originated from a natural substance that
was attached to the ground and is now uprooted from its soil ( even as Avraham
Aveinu uprooted himself from his  cultural surroundings). The s’chack is then placed
on high and becomes a  supernal
quintessential covering that offers us Divine protection and Heavenly insights.
The mitzvah of sukkah aids us to detach from any materialistic excesses as well
as guides us through the Uzpizin to nourish from the eternal values of the
Torah as will been explained. 

              How many of us have thought about the
following dichotomy? We all have seen how parents begin prodding their toddlers
to walk and talk as rapidly as they are able, yet as soon as these same children
get a little bigger their parents and educators are constantly telling and
teaching these children, often in futility, to sit down and be quite. For the
children this mixed message might be quiet confusing but there lies within this
moshal a profound message for all of us.

             Indeed, in the first phases of
life, our task is to learn how to walk and talk and use all of our efforts to
“get up” on our own two feet and succeed in the world, however, if a person
does not learn how to “sit down” introspectively and become “quietly”
contemplative they will find themselves spending their entire adulthood trying
to conquer the world instead submitting to their own inner spiritual calling.

Perhaps one of the many invaluable lessons within the mitzvah of (leishev) to
sit in sukkah is to teach us how to “sit down” in contemplation with our neshomos
under the guidance of each days Ushpizin – the supernal sublime guests that
grace our sukkah..

             Just as the period between Rosh Hashanah and
Yom Kippur awakens within us our yir’as Hashem, the seven days of Sukkas has
the power to draw  from within us   expressions of ahavas Hashem.

         To
aid us in this transition Chazal teach that on each of the seven days of Sukkos
one of our forefathers is invited to join us in the sukkah. They are our
honored guests who educate us in perceiving our true purpose and potential that
we can strive to attain throughout the year when we return back into our homes.
This transition is best facilitated by opening our hearts and minds to the
divine attributes that the seven Uspizin symbolize as the infra-structure of our
spiritual stature
.

            Under the influence of our
forefather Avraham Avinu we can reveal and refine the trait of – chesed –
loving kindness for the sake of Heaven. 
Under the guidance of our forefather Yitzchak Avinu we are aided in
developing the attribute of discipline so that our chesed can be constructively
channeled.  Under the influence of Yaakov
Avinu we are shown how to harmonize these seemingly disparate attributes of
chesed and gavurah.

             Moshe Rabbeinu awakens the netzach Israel within
us that links us with the eternal message of the Torah. Under the tutelage of
Aaron HaKohan we learn to offer ourselves for service to the Creator thereby
engendering greater peace in  the world.

 Yosef HaTzadik inspires us in our strivings
towards righteousness through acts of purity. Finally the attribute of malchus,
which is expressed through the kingdom
of David HaMelech, is the
power within us to orchestrate and combine all of these attributes  so as to harmonize our potential to reveal
the will of the Creator in this world. This means that each day of Succos we
each have been blessed with our own private supernal “tutors” who join us while
we are enveloped within the mitzvah thereby aiding us to elicit from deep
within us the seven divine attributes. 

                  Through following this spiritual
prescription may we see to take the inner message of the sukkah back into our
homes the whole year, thereby meriting to dance (stand up) and sing (speak)
words of praise and gratefulness for each moment throughout our lives thereby
meriting to soon dwell in the long awaited Sukkos David.    

All articles appearing on this blog are copyrighted by Rabbi Yehoshua Binyamin Falk. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to share/download/copy this information as long as it is accompanied by the copyright. Separately authored/copyrighted materia

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