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Embracing Nature's Holiness:
Sukkot's Unique Connection and Universal Appeal"

Shalom and greetings to all our Noahide friends worldwide. Happy Sukkot!

This holiday is different from all the Jewish holidays in that it is pastoral. There is much greenery in it. The four species that we take during this holiday, as well as the sukkah itself, made of natural materials, and the Temple ceremony of drawing the spring water – Simchat Beit Hashoeva; all these things are expressions of the unity of the Jewish soul with nature. 

We are not very good at this since it seems that Jews tend to fear nature. They are afraid of the experiential aspects, often paganistic, associated with it. Therefore, on Passover, for example, we refrain from eating leavened bread. On Shavuot, we do not sleep all night; on Rosh Hashanah, we do not sleep the entire day. Finally, Sukkot is a regular holiday where we can sleep and connect with the natural pastoral joy of nature. 

How do we achieve this? After we have already gone through the process of rectifying our sins and purifying ourselves from the evil inclination through the Days of Awe of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we are sure that our encounter with nature will not, God forbid, lead a person morally astray. Instead, the experience should elevate  the person, uplifting them along with nature. Consequently, this is why Sukkot also has a significant universal dimension.

The nations of the world are more sensitive to the holiness in nature, as explained by one of the great leaders of the nation, Rabbi Kook of blessed memory, who explained that the holiness in nature belongs specifically to the nations of the world. In contrast, the holiness that transcends nature belongs to the people of Israel. And behold, on Sukkot, there is reconciliation between the two types of holiness: the holiness above nature and the holiness within nature. Therefore, the prophets prophesy to us that in the future, people from all over the world will come to celebrate Sukkot, especially in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The Jews would offer 70 bulls to atone for the 70 nations of the world. Sukkot is a universal holiday that brings us together with all of humanity, reconciling the holiness above nature with the holiness within nature, and wishing a  joyful holiday to all of us.

 A full E-Book on Holliness & Nature - you can find here.

 

 

פרשות נוספות

Integrating Personal and Communal Well-Being through Torah
[Nasso]

Parshat Nasso addresses individual and family issues while emphasizing the collective unity through the Priestly Blessing. This blessing, structured in three levels, reflects a balance between material and spiritual needs: "May HaShem bless you and watch over you." for wealth, "May HaShem cause His countenance to shine to you" for spiritual illumination through Torah, and "May HaShem lift up His countenance upon you and grant you peace" for the deep connection of Nefesh, Ruah, and Neshama. The Torah guides to integrate personal and communal well-being harmoniously.

Beyond the Count: Individual Worth and Collective Unity
[Bemidbar]

Parshat Bamidbar discusses the commandment to count the Israelites, focusing on those eligible for the army. This count underscores the tension between collective and individual identities. The Torah uses the expression "number of names," signifying the importance of both the collective and the individual. The Torah teaches that true unity blends these aspects, with the collective gaining meaning through each individual's uniqueness. This concept is reflected in the principle of "generalization and specification" in scriptural interpretation, with hidden meanings in the numbers, explored through the gematria.

Tears of Exile, Seeds of Hope: The Unbreakable Bond Between God and Israel
[Bechukotai]

Parashat Bechukotai discusses the covenant between God and Israel, emphasizing the importance of repentance for redemption. The Talmudic debate between Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua delves into whether redemption is contingent on teshuva. Rashi's commentary interprets the ambiguous term "או" to support both views. This dual perspective highlights the Torah's open interpretation, showing that redemption can depend on human repentance or divine promise, reflecting a complex interplay of conditions in Judaism's understanding of historical progress.

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