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The Way of G-d

Part 4: "Divine Service"
Ch. 7: "Intermittent Observances"
Paragraph 6

We do other things to celebrate the Holy Days besides sanctifying them the ways we indicated. We also acknowledge the spiritual uniqueness of each one. For while G-d's light illumines each and every moment and day, a particular cast of it shines on each Holy Day specific to it.

For each Holy Day commemorates a monumental event in antiquity that still resonates with our beings as Jews to this day, on a very deep and recondite level. For a special light shone upon our people from Heaven when each Holy Day appeared, and the world itself was rectified in a unique way right there and then. Thus we celebrate each anniversary of that cosmic event in order to draw from some of that light for our purposes *today*, and to experience a measure of rectification.

We observe all the rituals of Passover, for example, in order to commemorate and re-live the exodus, when our people enjoyed a great deal of rectification. A great light shines upon us then that parallels the one that shone upon them then, and we enjoy some of the rectification our ancestors did. In the same spirit we likewise celebrate Shavuot on the same calendar day that our ancestors were granted the Torah, in order to experience some of the great rectification they did; we observe the holy days of Sukkot to commemorate and draw from the revelation of the Clouds of Glory which our ancestors were surrounded by in the desert, that was such a great rectification; and we observe Chanukah and Purim for the same reasons. (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are observed for somewhat different reasons, though, as we'll see.)

So let's now explain each of these Holy Days in more depth.


Text Copyright 2005 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org.


 

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