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Sukkot: A Time of Self Reflection

by Dovid Mark

The war is done.

The battle between the forces of goodness and the forces of evil that raged within us from the end of Rosh HaShana to the closing of the Torah Ark at the end of Yom Kippur has ended.

So what now?

It is obvious that Sukkot, with all of its strange laws involving the Sukkah and the taking of the four species is really about reflecting on the connection we have with the Divine.  After all, the clarity we achieve on Rosh HaShana, which is most intensely felt on Yom Kippur is meant to remove the last inner blocks that remain to Hashem’s light. These blocks known as klippot are all manifested within.  They are the main illusory weapon of the Other Side and it is these klippot we have helped create through our transgressions.

After all, Rebbe Nachman teaches that when a person transgresses the word of the Creator, he causes a shadow to grow between him and the light of God, which is always shining on us.  The more we stumble in the ways of God, the more this shadow grows. This shadow can be said to manifest itself as the klippot, which act as a block in our brain to the light of God which is always within since our souls and the infinite are bound.

Yom Kippur cleans us of our sins, thus ridding us of the klippot that are the natural outgrowth of these sins. Without these blockages and layers we now have nothing between us and the “sun.”  The shadow that had reduced our relationship to the Creator, acting as a tormentor to our true self is no more.

Yet, in this world of vessels and physical constraints we are bound to break when there is too much light.  This why we build the Sukkah.  Although we are free to reflect on our true purpose here we still need a vessel to filter the light from above.  Like the Beit HaMikdash, the Sukkah is our tool and our space to properly utilize the light of God in this world. It is a place of Yishuv Da’at where we can be free to connect with God in the way that is most suitable for us.  It is a place where we are free and one with ourselves and the Creator.

(Based on Likutey Moharan 25 and  172)

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