Volume 2 Number 39 – October 12, 2019 – 13 Tishrei 5780
Being Like G-d This Sukkot
by Rabbi Ron Jawary, www.aish.com
There is a mitzvah in the Torah to try to be like G-d. One of G-d’s characteristics is that He “sustains all the living with kindness.” Not only does He give us so many things for free, but He lifts our spirits when we’re down. A person should try to emulate G-d both by giving in the physical sense, and by giving of himself to lift the spirits of those who are down. The Rambam writes that there is no greater joy in life than the joy one receives by lifting and reviving the spirits of those who are burdened by life’s travails. The Torah teaches us that on Sukkot we should rejoice with our sons, daughters, our household help, the orphans, widows, strangers and Levites (the spiritual leaders of the nation).
Rashi explains that if we look after the Almighty’s four (the orphans, widows, strangers, and Levites), He will look after our four (our sons, daughters, and male and female help), blessing us and them with joy and inner peace. If we take the opportunity to be G-d-like and sustain all those around us with kindness, G-d will reciprocate in kind.
In fact, Sukkot comes after Yom Kippur because in order to be G-d-like, we need to be “big.” We can’t go through Yom Kippur properly and come out with grudges. The blessings which we receive are in direct proportion to the amount of effort which we invested.
The Jewish process is called “teshuva,” coming home – recognizing our mistakes between ourselves and G-d as well as between ourselves and our fellow man and then
Mark Your Calendars
- “Women in the Torah” presented by Rebbetzin Chani Smason in the NHBZ Sukkah, open to men and women – Wed., Oct. 16, at 7:15 pm.
- Next Book Club book: “Waking Lions,” by Israeli writer Ayelet Gundar-Goshen – Monday, October 28, 7:15-8:45PM
Ha’azinu / The Missing Puzzle Pieces
by Rabbi Eli Scheller
The Rock! – perfect is His work, for all His paths are justice; a G-d of faith without iniquity, righteous and fair is He.
Few people need to be convinced that G-d created the world. However, situations may occur that are difficult to comprehend and leave even believers with many questions. There is a higher level of belief in G-d: not only did He create the world, but He is intimately involved in its day-to-day running. Hashem presses all the buttons and causes all events to occur, right down to the last detail. 1
It is for this reason that the Torah put the first commandment in the context of the exodus: “I am your G-d who has taken you out of the land of Egypt.” Even though it would have been logical for G-d to identify himself as the Creator of the universe, a more all-inclusive title than that of engineer of the exodus, G-d was teaching us that He is also deeply involved in our everyday lives, intervening to pluck us out of Egypt.
A guest in a village did not understand why the more important members of the shul sat at the back, while the beggars and paupers sat at the front. When he questioned the shul president about it he was told, “You are confused because you are here for only one Shabbos. If you would be here every Shabbos you would understand that we have a procedure of alternating places which, over the course of a year, is fair to everybody.” The Chofetz Chaim uses this parable to demonstrate that our questions and doubts over G-d’s supervision of the world are due to our lack of understanding. G-d’s management of this world is based on considerations of a 6,000 year time period. We are in this world for a sum total of 70, 80, or maybe 90 years. How can we expect to know the answers when we are missing parts of the puzzle?
NOTES 1. Darkei Mussar