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Wednesday, September 22

The Weekly Shtikle - Sukkos

This coming Sunday is the Yahrtzeit of HaRav NaftaliNeuberger, zt"l of Ner Yisroel.
This shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmaso, Naftali ben Meir.

The weather here in Toronto is looking quite ominous for the first couple of days of Sukkos. So this is most apropos:

As we make the move out of our house and into the sukkah to spend all of our meals and for some, our nights as well, one of our principal fears is the threat of rain. Excessive precipitation negates the mitzvah of sukkah and forces us back into our homes. It is for this reason that we delay the commencing of the "Mashiv haruach umorid hagashem" prayer until after Sukkos (whereas the "Morid hatal" prayer is initiated at the beginning of Pesach). The mishnah (Sukkah 28b) relates the following parable: "To what is this comparable (rainfall on Sukkos)? To a servant who came to dilute his master's wine and the master spilled out the pitcher in front of him."

The GR"A offers a fascinating insight into this parable. The month of Tishrei begins with Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur which are days of judgement. The chag of Sukkos is given to us immediately following as a gesture of mercy by means of the numerous mitzvos we are given to increase our merits and get the year off to a good start. The concept of strict judgement is symbolized by the sharp wine which, in earlier days, needed to be diluted before drinking. We, the servants, wish to dilute the strict judgement of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur with mercy by means of the numerous mitzvos we perform. By bringing down rain, HaShem, the Master, shows that (Heaven forbid) He does not desire this modification of judgement and rejects the dilution. He therefore spills the pitcher of water (not of wine) in front of the servant to show that He does not wish for the wine to be diluted.

Let us hope that we can all avoid the rain and the negative implications thereof as much as possible over Sukkos.

Have a good Yom Tov and then Good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:
Al Pi Cheshbon: Comment on above AstroTorah post
Al Pi Cheshbon: The Search for Worthy ... Humans (Koheles)

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