By: Rabbi Osher Jungreis
Since this is the first Shabbos after Yom Kippur, it is important to try to preserve that awesome level of spirituality that we all attained on this holiest of all days and utilize it to enhance our Shabbos. Each individual on his or her own level must find a way to grow and develop his or her unique potential.
At the end of this week`s parsha, HaAzinu, the Torah teaches us that Moshe Rabbenu dies, and is denied the privilege of entering the land of Israel.
The reason given is that he did not sanctify the Name of G-d among the children of Israel when he hit the rock rather than speaking to it as he had been instructed to do.
From this we learn that Moshe, the greatest man ever to have walked on this planet, was punished, not because he committed a sin, but because he did not live up to his potential to sanctify G-d`s Name.
As we embark upon the New Year of 5782, the world appears very menacing. All our heretofore stable institutions are crumbling before our very eyes. There is only one aspect of our lives that remains a pillar of strength, and that is our commitment to Torah and our belief in G-d. So let us meditate on the meaning of our lives and ask ourselves, “Are we spiritually in tune? Do our neshamas, souls energize us or have we allowed atrophy, resignation and depression to overtake our lives. Through prayer and Torah study we can find strength and meaning. A good way to commence our spiritual journey is to make a commitment to attend our Torah study classes. There is always a class available from Monday through Thursday.
This holiday, which the Torah calls the most joyous of all our festivals, begins in several days and concludes with the celebration of Simchas Torah. We light holiday candles on the first two nights of the Yom Tov, and we are commanded to make the blessing over the four species (lulav, esrog, myrtle & willow) which symbolize the unity of the Jewish people and the total commitment of each and every individual to the service of G-d. If you do not as yet have a lulav and esrog you can purchase contact Hineni for help. Please visit the web site at: www.hineni.org
During the holiday of Succoth, we are commanded to depart from the permanent shelter of our homes to take up residence in a fragile, temporary dwelling. The succah reminds us that our protection and security cannot be found in structures of brick and stone, but through G-d. Sitting in our fragile succahs, we are infused with strength in the knowledge that G-d’s loving care and guidance are ever-present–that as fearsome and hazardous as the world appears, we are never alone–He is always there.
It is also important to remember that, even as the succah is temporary, so is this world. Therefore, let us concentrate on that which is eternal–our souls and how we may best elevate them.
G-d grants permission for seven holy guests to join us in our succahs. They are Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron and David. To be worthy of welcoming these guests, we invite our own guests and unite with friends in a succah to enjoy the spirit and sanctity of the holiday.