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  KD MAGAZINE!      ב"ה                    
 
 
  SHABBAT SUKKOT - SIMCHAT TORAH  
 

By Rabbi Yonassan Biggs

SHABBAT SUKKOT - SIMCHAT TORAH - BY RABBI BIGGS

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 Shalom and Bracha!

  This Shabbat combines the joy of Sukkot, the festival of joy, and the serenity of Shabbat. In this year of gathering let’s all try to include new faces at the Shabbat table in the Sukkah and thereby intensify the joy.

  This Shabbat we read about the second tablets and Hashem’s thirteen attributes of mercy. After the sin of the golden calf, when Hashem forgave the Jewish people, Moshe asked Hashem to reveal to him Hashem’s glory. Hashem responded that seeing His “face” was impossible but He would show Moshe His “back.” When Moshe brought the second set of tablets up to Mount Sinai, Hashem passed before him and called out, “Hashem, Hashem, benevolent G-d, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in kindness and truth. He preserves kindness thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin, who acquits.” These traits are known as Hashem’s thirteen attributes of mercy and are a part of the liturgy, particularly prominent in the Selichot and the Yom Kippur prayers..

  The word Torah means teaching. When the Torah relates something, it is a lesson. Both Moshe’s request and Hashem’s response are lessons. Moshe teaches each one of us that we have to seek to understand Hashem’s glory. It is not sufficient to only follow the rules of the Torah. Our love for Hashem should bring a desire to understand Him in every way possible. This can be attained through learning Chassidut.

  Hashem responded that you cannot see my face, but you can see my back. This teaches us that Hashem is infinite, and therefore we cannot grasp Him. However, we can and must come as close as possible. Every step opens new doors. When Hashem recounted the thirteen attributes of mercy, it was a lesson. Hashem’s glory is not just in the supernal: it is this world through patience, good, kindness and forgiving.

  Last Shabbat we discussed that Hashem’s name is revealed in each of us. Accordingly, the narrative this week teaches us to recognize and cultivate the name of G-d that is within each of us. We might have thought that cultivating our divine nature is through removing ourselves from the world. Hashem teaches us otherwise. Through patience, compassion, kindness and forgiving, we reveal the spark of G-d in each of us. We must also realize that our G-dly spark gives us the power to emulate G-d. Hashem’s patience is infinite. He waits years for individuals and centuries for nations to go on the right path. The Torah says that He not only appreciates a good deed, but continues to reward for two thousand generations. We can make the same mistakes thousands of times, ask forgiveness, and He grants it. His kindness is called “Great Kindness.” The human parallel is going far beyond our duty in the help of others: be it in time, effort, or money. Our divine spark teaches us that we must aspire to these levels.

  When Moshiach comes, our thirst for the knowledge of Hashem will be quenched because the knowledge of Hashem will fill the earth as the water fill the ocean bed. May Hashem grant us the ultimate mercy and kindness and bring Moshiach immediately!

  Shabbat Shalom,

 Rabbi Biggs

 Rabbi Biggs

  Rabbi Yonassan Biggs is from Chabad of Great Neck, NY. His website is: http://www.chabadgn.com/
 
 

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