Rav Brazil On Hoshanah Rabbah


rav-shmuel-brazil-1By Rav Shmuel Brazil

One will once again soon notice the blarring contrast that during Succos we walk around the Torah situated on the bimah while holding our four minim. However on Simchas Torah we make circles around he bimah while holding the sefer Torah in our hands. Why the difference? To understand this we must first understand the Yom Tov of Succos and specifically the essenc e of today which is Hoshana Rabbah. It is brought down in sefarim that Hoshana Rabbah is the final day of chasima – sealing one’s judgment. But did we not have already a sealing of din on Yom Kippur? What then is this seemingly superfluous sealing that we receive on Hoshana Rabba?

The Shem Mishmuel explains the following. The Ari says that the kedusha of Yom Kippur is likened to the walls of Tziyon while the kedusha of Hoshana Rabba is likened to the walls of Yerushalayim. These cryptic words of the Ari Hakadosh are interpreted by the Shem Mishmuel with the understanding of the middah of emes and its application to these two holy days. The kedusha of Yom Kippur reveals the middah of emes. For it is the tenth day of th e days of teshuva and number ten is a total number which includes all that came before. In the kavonos of the Ari Hakadosh the name of Hashem in the letters of Aleph Hey Yud Hey which is gematriah 21 is then revealed. This name of Hashem symbolizes the middah of emes which represents non change. For something to possess the quality of emes, it can never be subject to change nor be a happening or coincidence as if it could have had a different outcome or consequence. Since the name Aleph Hey Yud Hey symbolizes emes and it contains the totality of the other names of Hashem, we will find that if we double the name by itself we will arrive at the gematria of 441 which is the identical gematria of emes. This is alluded to in the code that Hashem gave to Moshe Rabbeinu to deliver to the Yidden in Mitzrayim Ehekeh asher Ehekeh.

Am Yisrael has this quality of emes as we are called “kulo zerah emes”. That is one of the secrets of our persevering existence defying all the laws of history. The emes of the Yid also states that we truly want to serve Hashem but it is the=2 0nations of the world that deride us from our holy mission. Just as we find that the air can be contaminated with contagious diseases and germs and if we breathe in that air we can become very sickly, so too the goyish culture contaminates the air we breathe and make us sick spiritually. We all heard of the famous story when Rav Wasserman ztl was riding in a car in Manhattan near 42nd street known for its impurity even in the forties, he began gasping for air asking what kind of tumah lies here. It is known that he never looked outside his four cubits. The spiritual atmosphere that one creates with his pure and impure actions is a reality whether we want to accept it or not. A healthy person can sense the difference in air quality both physical and spiritual. However from the aspect of the inner essence of a Yid he only wants to be an obedient servant to his creator. When the judgment of Yom Kippur arrives, the middah of emes which is revealed is for our benefit for it states that all the avairos of Yisrael are coincidental and not part of their emes which immediately stops all the prosecution in the heavenly courts. This is the first chasima – sealing [termination of prosecution] of one’s judgment on the day of Yom Kippur.

Even though we have been dismissed from prosecution on Yom Kippur, that was only from prosecution relating to our essence and we have proven that it is pure. However what about the damage done to our bodies and all the 248 limbs that correspond to the 248 mitzvos and the 365 sinews corresponding to the 365 negative prohibitions? The prosecution still has a field day and refuses to give up his case against us. It is the Yom Tov of Succos that becomes our attorney and aids us with our plea for dismissal even when it comes to the spiritual damages we brought upon our physical bodies. Succah is the mitzvah where we enter it totally with our physical bodies in its entirety. It is in the Succah sanctuary where our spiritual wounds of our physical bodies are healed and nourished back to be healthy just as they were before we sinned. That is why the essential mitzvah of moving into the Succah is sleeping in it. For when one sleeps his neshama leaves and there remains only a bare minimum amount of spirit within his body just to sustain life. In essence, during sleep one is basically a body without a soul. It is in this condition that the Succah and the Ooshpizin who are invited in each day, can maximize in their work to purify our bodies until they become rid from all their impurities enabling them to become a vessel o nce again to receive the Shechinah and His Torah
Hoshana Rabba is the 21rst day since the creation of Man. Here again we see the number 21 which corresponds to the name of Hashem Aleph Hey Yud Hey. Hoshanah Rabba being the culmination of Succos, makes it also a totality of all the days that preceded it. Therefore once again we arrive at the formula 21 times 21 which brings out the middah of emes. On Hoshanah Rabba like Yom Kippur the revelation of this middah brings out the quality of the Yid that even the spiritual wounds of his body can be healed for they are only an coincidence but not his emes and reality. It is likened in the Medrash to someone who is bald and chaff blows on his head. It is easily removable since it is not part of his essence. The second sealing of Hoshana Rabba symbolizes that when this same middah of emes is revealed on this day, it once again terminates [seals] all prosecution against the Yidden. The only difference between the emes of Yom Kippur and Hoshanah Rabba is that on Yom Kippur the emes reveals our inward and hidden essence while on Hoshana Rabba it reveals our essence of our physical bodies that it is also pure and a vessel for to receive Hashem’s presence within.

The Shem Mishmuel now explains the words of the Ari. Yom Kippur is likened to the wall of protection [chosem which means seal has the same letters as chomas which means wall] of Ziyon which is the Beis Hamikdash that symbolizes the inner sanctuary of the Yid protecting him from prosecution. Hoshanah Rabbah is the walls of his outer sactuary that relates to the purity of his body and from that as well the middah of emes that is revealed on this day protects his from prosecution.

With the help of the Shem Mishmuel’s interpretation we can now understand the difference between the circles that we make on the six days of Succos and the unique ones of Hoshana Rabbah. The entire Succos Yom Tov through sleeping in the Succoh, eating and learning in it, fulfilling the mitzvah of the four minim which symbolize our bodies as explained in the Medrash, we undergo the healing process of our bodies to enable them to become total receptacles to become one with Hashem and His Torah. This is symbolized by circling the Torah with the four minim every day and asking Hashem to help us in acquiring this goal. During this entire process of purification, the prosecution is relentless nevertheless. However when Hoshana Rabba comes, the prosecution is ousted and dismissed and the healing process of the spiritual body becomes completed. There are no more partitions and chatzizos upon us. After Hoshana Rabba the Yid can become bonded as one with Hashem’s Torah for the middah of emes of the Torah [venasan lanu Torahs emes] is now parallel to the emes of the Yid’s essence his neshama and his external bodily emes. It is on Simchas Torah that we don’t circle as before the Torah as an outsider but r ather we hold the Torah in our hands and dance with it. For Hoshana Rabba with Succos has enabled the Yid to come in contact with his duel emes in order to bond with the Torah which is the emes of creation.

We come into Simchas Torah with the walls of both Ziyon and Yerushalayim rebuilt within ourselves. May we be zocheh that this will be the catalyst to witness this phenomenon in the very near future in their physical actualization as well as we say in the Musaf tefillah vahaveeainu letziyon eercha berrenah velirushalayim bais mikdashcha besimchas olam . To tziyon which is Yom Kippur we come with reenah which is tefilla but to Yerushalayim we come with simchas olam which hints to the time of Succos .This will herald in the Yom Shekulo Shabbos. For every Shabbos gives a small deposit on the building of these two walls as evident from the gematriah of Ziyon Veyerushalayim equals Yom Shabbos.
ציון וירושלים = יום שבת

Gut Shabbos and Gut Yom Tov

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