It is customary to "Open with blessing," in this instance, the blessing of gut moed, for with the mention of the word "good," this includes all the blessings.
These blessings are enhanced by the connection to the ushpiz associated with the present day, Aharon the Priest, about whom it is said, "Be of the students of Aharon.... Love the created beings and bring them close to the Torah." As explained in Tanya, this refers to even those people whose only redeeming quality is that they are G-d's creations. Surely, such love should be shown to a Jew who conducts himself in a kosher manner.
The bonds of love between the Jews receive greater emphasis at times of happiness, for "happiness breaks down barriers." Surely, it breaks down the barriers an individual places around himself, e.g., "this is not appropriate for my honor" and the like.
The above is particularly true since tonight is the fifth night of Sukkos. This night includes the influence of the entire holiday for "the majority of an entity is considered as the entire entity." Furthermore, the number five is significant as reflected by its connection to the five Books of the Torah. This emphasizes the connection to the ushpiz of the previous night, Moshe. It similarly provides us with a directive for action, to spread the study of the Torah, or to refer to the above-mentioned quote, "bring [people] close to the Torah." As explained at length on previous occasions, this involves elevating the people to the level of the Torah, not, heaven forbid, bringing the Torah down from its level for the sake of the people. When a person follows such an approach with happiness and with patience and goodwill, he will surely be successful.
"Deed -- and not talking -- is most essential." In this instance, this refers to the matter of immediate concern, the celebrations of Simchas Beis HaShoevah. Every person should, not only participate in these celebrations, but take a leadership role in them. In regard to prayer, the Rambam writes, "When a chazon errs, another should assume his position and he should not refuse at such a time." I.e., when there is an immediate need -- and now there is an immediate need for enthused celebration at Simchas Beis HaShoevah -- a person should not refuse to take on a leadership role. He should not wait for others to beg him, nor should he be concerned with his honor, nor should he worry about what will happen afterwards. Instead, he should actively seek an opportunity to take a leadership role in spreading joy.
The above relates to the journeys undertaken to hold Simchas Beis HaShoevah in other places in regard to which, the statement can be applied, "Run to perform a mitzvah." How much so does this apply when our running is assisted by a car.
Even when a person cannot take a leadership role in these celebrations, he should be an active participant. He should not be upset that someone else is the leader and should, in the spirit of "Love your fellowman as yourself," add spirit and vitality to the celebrations.
These activities will hasten the coming of the Redemption. This is particularly true when they are associated with tzedakah, for tzedakah speeds the process of redemption from all forms of exile, individual and general. When a person experiences a redemption in a personal sense, i.e., his Jewish core is revealed, with happiness and joy, he will increase his Jewish practice. This, in turn, will "bring salvation and deliverance to the entire world," as the Rambam writes, and will bring about the Redemption.
And then we will continue the celebration of Simchas Beis HaShoevah together with the entire Jewish people: men, women, and children, in Eretz Yisrael, in Jerusalem, and in the Beis HaMikdash.
- (Back to text) Herein there is a connection to the holiday of Yom Kippur which has just been celebrated. For Yom Kippur revolves around the service of the High Priest, Aharon's position.
- (Back to text) The word kosher (ÿÖï) serves as an acronym for the Hebrew words meaning "As one who finds great spoil." This refers to our service of refining the material entities of this world, the service associated with eating kosher food. A Jew takes a physical entity, meat, and makes it part of his flesh and blood, elevating it to the human plane. And the process of elevation continues, for man, Adam, in Hebrew, is given that name because he has the potential to be adameh l'Elyon, "resemble the One Above."
- (Back to text) This includes not only the days of Sukkos, but also the holiday of Shemini Atzeres.
- (Back to text) This service relates not only to Aharon, but also to his entire tribe, the tribe of Levi of whom it is said, "They will teach Your judgments to Yaakov and Your Torah to Yisrael."
The word yoru was translated as "teach" even though more specifically it means "instruct," or "deliver decisions." This translation was used, because a halachic decision must be communicated in a way in which it will be accepted by the recipient and this requires an approach of gentleness and happiness. In general, concepts are accepted by others more readily when they are transmitted in such a fashion.
Although the above verse is related in connection with the tribe of Levi, there is a point of connection to the entire Jewish people. As the Rambam writes, every person who chooses G-d as his portion shares a connection with the tribe of Levi.