Posts Tagged 'Lulav'

KC 369 – Shmini Atzeres | The Kollel Connection

KC 369 – Shmini Atzeres | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

September 25th    Candle lighting 6:33 P.M.

Note: Times are for Bensalem; Check your local calendar for exact times in your area.

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Welcome to the Kollel Connection.  We appreciate your comments and feedback.

We join the entire Jewish world in ushering in the Holiday of Shmini Atzeres and Simchas Torah. Shmini Atzeres is a short holiday, in Torah law only one day, celebrated after the Seven days of Sukkos. Outside of Israel we celebrate this for two days. On the last day of this holiday, we celebrate Simchas Torah, as we complete the yearly cycle of the reading of the Torah.  Our Sages teach us that Shmini Atzeres is not simply the last day of Sukkos, but in fact is a separate holiday from Sukkos. This is borne out by the fact that on Shmini Atzeres we say the Shehechiyanu blessing that is only recited on a new holiday, unlike the seventh day of Passover when the shehechiyanu blessing is not recited.  Yet, we are told in the Torah of three holidays a year that we go to the Temple, not of four. Why is this? We also find that for Passover, Shavuos, and Succos, we are given a reason in the Torah. For Shmini Atzeres no reason is given, other than the statement that it is an Atzeres, (an assembly) (Leviticus 23:36). Why is that? Another question that needs explanation is, why do we in fact celebrate finishing the Torah on the end of Shmini Atzeres? True, this may be when we finish the yearly cycle of reading the Torah, but that could have just as easily been arranged to happen at a different time of the year. Why did the Sages institute the reading of the Torah to be completed and celebrated at this time of the year?

In the classic work, Nesivos Shalom, the author offers a beautiful explanation for this. In Jewish thought, the number seven represents things that we can attain within the realm of nature, things that are attainable in the seven days of creation. Regarding holiness, the number seven represents the level of holiness that we can attain in this world. The number eight represents holiness that is beyond or above the natural world.

The Seven days of Passover and Succos are very holy days, days of spiritual awakening and special connections between the Jew and his or her Creator. Special mitzvahs help forge that connection, the matzoh, the maror, the lulav, the sukkah,…  Shmini Atzeres is a whole new level. After traveling through Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and Sukkos, a Jew is now at the level eight – at a level of connection so special that he or she finds themselves directly connecting to Hashem. The highest of levels – connecting with love rather than with fear – is now felt and experienced.

This is why we are directed to celebrate Simchas Torah, the joy of finishing the Torah and feeling our closeness to Hashem, on this day. The day that we feel love, closeness, and connection to our Creator is the perfect day to express the warmth and attachment that we have to His Torah and our joy in being the fortunate people who have received it.

Wishing you and your family a Happy, Healthy and Joyous Shmini Atzeres and Simchas Torah!!!!!!!!

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

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Sukkot Across America: October 16th, 2011

Come Join us for a Fun-Filled Family Get Together!

Date & Time:

Sunday, October 16 · 10:00am – 12:00pm

Location:

2725 Woodsview Dr. Bensalem, PA 19020

Description:

Shake a Lulav, dance a Hora, and most of all relax in a beautifully decorated Sukka on the happy holiday of Sukkos. Come with your family to the Travitsky Sukka at 2725 Woodsview Dr. Bensalem, PA 19020 Sunday October 16 between 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM for a special Sukka event.

While the event is free, we ask that you click here to RSVP.


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