Beyond BT Contributor, Rabbi Yonason Goldson on Sukkot and the War against Terror.
In his visionary writings, the prophet Ezekiel describes a great battle on the eve of the messianic era, when the all forces of evil in the world combine themselves into a great army called by the name Gog and Magog. The brilliant 18th century thinker, Rabbi Shimshon Rafael Hirsch, interprets the prophet’s vision not as a military battle but as an ideological war between the philosophy of “gog” — which means roof in Hebrew — and the philosophy of sukkah, where those convinced that their fate lies in the power of their own hands and their own resources will attack the values of those who recognize the limits of human endeavor to influence the world.
Beyond BT Contributor, Yaakov Astor on Paradise Found.
Sukkot is the time we realize that even the “reject” has value. The bad — that which we thought had only negative value — suddenly becomes a springboard for the greatest good. Though we distanced ourselves from God due to sin, it is that very sin which now becomes the fuel upon which the fire of ahavat Hashem, love of God, is kindled. And it is that fuel which catapults us past the gravitational pull of our earthly makeup to heights unattainable via fear alone.
Rabbi Leiby Burnham on Turning Nothing into Something.
But what made it unique was that it commemorated someone finishing an entire chapter of Talmud by heart, and that every piece in the entire chapter was learned at least 400 times!
He is a world-renowned physician who has a practice that consumes enormous amounts of time, while simultaneously being a devoted father and husband, and an active leader in community organizations. Where was he going to find the time to finish a chapter of Talmud 400 times, a feat that he estimated would take a minimum of 800 hours?
In his remarks at the siyum, he told us that his solution was to look for “dead time” in his day, and to put it to use. He calculated that he had close to 100 minutes a day of dead time.
Rabbi Ahron Lopiansky on Why a Joy Filled Sukkot?
The source of the happiness described as simchah lies in enhancing one’s awareness of God and His providence, for with this awareness, one feels more complete. A person is beset with shortcomings and frustrations only because he considers himself a separate entity, unattached to God. Then his shortcomings are indeed shortcomings, and feeling that he is missing something is a true indication that he is genuinely lacking in an essential aspect of his life. Thus, atzav — “despair” — is a synonym for idolatry (Psalms 115:4), for its source is alienation from God.