Thank you for your caring and kindness this week as we have been recovering from illness. On the home front, we are gearing up for a quiet beginning of the chag and, God willing, we hope to be able to spend the intermediate days of Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah together with the Shaare Torah community. Thank you to our amazing staff, leaders, volunteers, and to Rabbi Jacob and Rabbi Mark for all you are doing to make sure this is a joyous and meaningful chag at Shaare Torah.
A Taste of Olam HaBah
Rabbi Yehuda Leib Aryeh Alter of Gur offered a beautiful teaching about the connection between our Jewish religious technologies of the Sabbath and the Sukkah. We share it with you this Friday afternoon as we prepare for Chag and Shabbat.
The sukkah represents not only a place of honor in this world, but also a taste of what is to be found in Olam HaBah – the World to Come…
For this reason, the sukkah finds a parallel in the otherworldly spirit of Shabbat. Amidst the drudgeries of the workday week, Shabbat offers a rarefied respite, a special period when the soul can emerge refreshed and suffused with the fragrance of the World to Come.
It is significant that the expression “pores sukkat shalom” / “פורש סוכת שלום” – [Hashem] spreads over us a sukkah, a canopy of peace – is found in reference to both Shabbat (in the Friday night service) and to the sukkah. On both occasions we are immersed in them and sufficiently sheltered from the exigencies of daily life to experience a taste of Olam HaBah. . .
As we enter the Sukkah on Shabbat,
May we find a double portion of Olam HaBah.
May we let ourselves be held in the embrace of the Sukkah and Shabbat.
May these holy days help us to recharge ourselves,
to work for protection and peace in this world,
to bring it closer to our vision of the World to Come.
Shabbat Shalom & Chag Sameach!
Check out ST’s Sukkot and Simchat Torah offerings here!