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Love Me Some Me

Friday, 18 October, 2019 - 11:09 am

Earlier this week I got an email from someone, that mentioned how we are transitioning from the busy intensity of the high holidays into the relaxed mode of Sukkot and Simchat Torah. My first thought was, “Relaxed mode? Ha!” Sukkot is a wonderfully busy time of hosting as many Jews as possible in the Sukkah, and then tracking down as many Jews as possible with the Lulav and Etrog. As for Simchat Torah, from my standpoint, this is the most important and intense part of the holiday month. In fact, if I am asked to suggest the one day a year a person should attend Shul (at Chabad), I would recommend Simchat Torah. Why? Let me give you some context.

The mystics see the holiday season as phases in the relationship between Hashem and the Jewish people. Elul is the courtship. Rosh Hashanah is the proposal, with the sounding of the Shofar being our “I do.” Yom Kippur is the Chupah, with Neilah being the Yichud (time that the bride and groom are secluded after the Chupah). Sukkot is the wedding reception and Sheva Brachot. During this time we celebrate with our well-wishers – the nations of the world. (Sukkot in the Beit Hamikdash was a time when offerings were brought on behalf of the 70 root nations of humanity.)

After the courtship, the wedding, the reception, and the celebration with others, the bride and groom then go home to celebrate with each other alone. They begin to explore the oneness and connection that they have with each other. They discover that they are two halves of the same soul. The love for each other is essentially the love of self (in an “unselfish manner”).

This, my friends, is what Simchat Torah is all about. It is our private time to celebrate with Hashem. It is the intensity of the joy that two halves of a single whole experience when they become one. It is the time to “Love me some me,” but in the polar opposite manner than the conventional application of that phrase. To quote the Zohar, “Israel and her King are one and alone.”

Please don’t let this amazing moment slip away without tapping into the special energy of Simchat Torah. Join us for Hakafot on Monday night and/or Tuesday morning. Come “love me some me” as you lose your ego in the arms of your other half, Hashem.  

Please check out our photos below of last night’s amazing Sukkah-Fest.

Shabbat Shalom
Chag Sameach
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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