Monday, September 27, 2010

Did I really mean what I said?


How is Sukkos a logical continuation of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur? Sukkos is a continuation in that it is the first opportunity to have my actions validate my words.

On Rosh Hashana, I pledged my allegiance to Hashem; proclaiming that He is my one and only King. On Yom Kippur, I spent the entire day in shul apologizing for all the times I did what I wanted to do rather than what He commanded me to do. I begged, I pleaded, I didn't eat or drink anything, hoping that I could convince Him that my words were indeed honest reflections of my true self.

And then just five days later, Hashem puts my true loyalty to the test on Sukkos with a variety of mitzvos that are both difficult to observe and to comprehend. He tests me to determine whether I will we put aside my personal sense of comfort and convenience to fulfill His will by eating, drinking, and even sleeping in the sukka. He tests my modern mind by asking me to perform a mitzva that is seemingly irrational; shaking a fruit, palm branch, and some twigs that are bundled together.

If I am honest with myself, I will acknowledge that my observance of the mitzvos of Sukkos provides a good barometer of my relationship to Hashem. How I approach these mitzvos reveals whether I am obediently following His commandments, or just serving Him out of habit and routine during the rest of the days of the year.

9 Comments:

At September 27, 2010 at 10:03:00 AM EDT, Blogger Neil Harris said...

Nice post. Maybe serving Hashem with the intent/understanding of "simcha shel mitzvah" is why it's Zman Simchasanu...

 
At September 27, 2010 at 11:37:00 AM EDT, Blogger Aaron said...

You have a lovely Sukkah!

 
At September 27, 2010 at 11:38:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Aaron: I agree, however, this is not my sukka. I just liked the picture.

 
At September 27, 2010 at 11:46:00 AM EDT, Blogger Aaron said...

I had a feeling you were going to say that! HAHA! Moadim LSimcha!

 
At September 27, 2010 at 3:52:00 PM EDT, Blogger DanielS82 said...

I think this is what it means, and I have no source for this whatsoever, so it is probably Kabbalistic, but like I said here is what I think. I think, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and Succos, are connected because they represent the three primary kinds of relationships we have with Hashem. On Rosh Hashana we crown Hashem King, on Yom Kippur, we apologize to our father for all the wrong we have done. On Succos, we rejoice with our spouse, in the yichud room (the Succah). I think that is the connection or one of the connections, but again, I don't have any source for this.

 
At September 28, 2010 at 6:57:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

I hope we're all thoroughly enjoying and not just doing the mitzvot of Sukkos. They make us look at "normal" life from a better perspective and even with great amusement.

 
At October 3, 2010 at 2:49:00 PM EDT, Blogger Batya said...

Succot could only come after Yom Kippur when we celebrate without food. During Succot there's food, but we must leave our homes.

 
At October 3, 2010 at 6:07:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Minnesota Mamaleh said...

i love the way you thoughtfully weave and explain the three holidays!

 
At October 3, 2010 at 8:31:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Minnesota Mamaleh: Thanks! By the way, I lived there between ages 7 and 18.

 

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