Pearls of Rashi: Sukkos II

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This Shabbos, we will celebrate the holiday of Sukkos. As such, we push off the regular Torah Portion. Nevertheless, we still learn a daily portion from this week’s Parshah, V’zos Haberochoh.

In this portion, the Torah tells us the blessings which Moshe gave to all of the tribes of Israel. The blessing which Moshe gave to Binyomin was[1], “And of Binyomin he said, ‘Hashem’s beloved one shall dwell securely beside Him; He protects him all day long, and He dwells[2] between his shoulders.’”

Rashi cites the words “dwells between his shoulders” and explains as follows. “The Holy Temple was built on the highest point of his (meaning Binyomin’s) land …” Rashi continues that “it was King Dovid’s intention to build it at the highest point … however, they said to Dovid ‘Let us build it a little lower, because the Torah says, ‘and He dwells between his shoulders[3],’ and there is no part of an ox which is more beautiful than its shoulders.’”

The is a deeper reason for building the Holy Temple “a little lower.” The Bais Hamikdosh spreads Divine light throughout the entire world; including the (spiritually) lowest places. In order to reach these places, it could not be built on the greatest heights. Its illumination had to be accessible to everyone, everywhere.

Just as the Temple was a holy building on the Temple Mount, so too each and every one of us is required to be a Bais Hamikdosh; we must all illuminate our portion of the world.

If our G-dly soul was totally removed from this world, it would be impossible for us to provide it with a source of illumination. Rather, each of us must “lower” ourselves by dealing with this world. We must apply ourselves to drawing down holiness into the world. In order to accomplish this, we must use our animal souls, bodies, and our portions in this world in the service of Hashem. In this manner we will[4] “make Me a sanctuary and I, Hashem, will dwell in their midst.”

We should celebrate Sukkos, the Time of Our Rejoicing, in the simple meaning of the word, by rejoicing! May we all have a good, sweet year both in all spiritual and physical matters, in a revealed manner. We should merit the ultimate blessing of Moshiach Now!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos, Volume 10, Page 146

מוקדש לזכות כ”ק אדמו”ר נשיא דורנו מליובאוויטש

חיילי “צבאות השם” חיים ועדן עודד שיחיו מאריס
נדפס ע”י הוריהם
הרה”ת ר’ מנחם מענדל וזוגתו מרת חי’ מושקא שיחיו מאריס

[1]. Our Parshah, Devorim 33:12.

[2]. The words “He dwells” refer to the Bais Hamikdosh, Hashem’s dwelling place.

[3]. The shoulders are lower than the head.

[4]. Parshas Terumah, Shemos 25:8.

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