Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Sukkos

Moving Fast Into The Garden

The Midrash relates that bringing together the "arba'ah minim" - four species on Succos, represents the notion that all of Bnei Yisroel are one and should be viewed as such regardless of their level of commitment to Judaism. The "esrog" - citron has both a taste and a fragrance, thus representing those amongst Bnei Yisroel who possess Torah knowledge and good deeds. The "lulav" - palm branch, which lacks fragrance but has a taste contained in the dates produced by the palm tree, depicts those Jews who possess Torah knowledge but lack good deeds. The "hadas" - myrtle branch possesses a fragrance but lacks a taste, reflecting those Jews who practice good deeds but do not engage in the study of Torah. The "aravah" - willow branch has neither a taste nor a fragrance, representing those amongst Bnei Yisroel who have no Torah knowledge and do not engage in good deeds[1].

We do not use the dates produced by the palm in the performance of the mitzva, rather the branch of the tree, which is tasteless. Therefore, why is the lulav branch considered to have a taste?

Citing the Maharil, the Ramah teaches that we should begin building a Succah as soon as Yom Kippur concludes, thereby moving immediately from the fulfillment of one mitzva to the fulfillment of another[2]. Why must we move immediately to the mitzva of Succah rather than charity, Torah study, or any other mitzva?

The Talmud derives the laws pertaining to the construct of the Succah from the clouds which arose from the Garden of Eden[3]. What is the connection between the Garden of Eden and the Succah?

The Talmud relates that when Bnei Yisroel received the Torah on Shavuos, they reached the level of Adam prior to the sin in the Garden of Eden. However, when they committed the sin of the Golden Calf, Bnei Yisroel returned to the level of Adam after he was banished from the Garden for having eaten from the Tree of Knowledge. On Yom Kippur Bnei Yisroel received atonement for the sin of the Golden Calf, and they should have gone into Eretz Yisroel, built the Beis Hamikdash, and once again attained that special closeness with Hashem. However, instead they committed the sin of the spies which resulted in the death of that entire generation[4].

Succos represents the time period when, after having received atonement on Yom Kippur, we enter the Garden of Eden, i.e. the Succah. This is the reason why the construct and decor of the Succah, as well as the four species which we are commanded to take in it are made to resemble a garden. Immediately after Yom Kippur we are preoccupied with building the Succah, displaying our desire to attain this elevated level of closeness with Hashem by joining him in the Garden of Eden.

The Midrash teaches that one of the characteristics of the Garden of Eden was that the bark of the fruit trees tasted of the fruit[5]. Taking the branch of the palm tree to represent the taste of the dates is reflective of the notion that we are recreating our existence in the Garden of Eden.

1. Vayikra Rabbah 30
2.Orach Chaim Hilchos Yom Hakippurim 224:4
3.Succah 11b
4.Avodah Zarah 5a
5.See Rashi Bereishis 1:11



 

ARTICLES ON KI SISA AND PURIM:

View Complete List

Errant Deification
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5766

Purim's Coming! Yay! Let's All Be Humble!
Rabbi Yaakov Feldman - 5766

Pocketbook Judaism
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Delving into the Megila
- 5774

Understanding God's Judgments
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770

Behind the Purim Mask
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

> Shabbos Has Kept the Children of Israel Holy
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

When Dignity Really Counts
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Who Knows?!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Whole is Greater than its Parts
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5772

What's Bad is Good
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

In Command of Redemption
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

ArtScroll

Living Up to the Highest Standards
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5756

A Major Player
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

The Importance of Being, the Importance of Having...a Rav
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

A Matter of Choice
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information