Pinchas: Chapter 121

The holiday of Sukkot


We are reminded of the origin of this Festival dating from the time when Yisrael were led out of Egypt. The size and construction of the Tabernacle is described, and the point is made that the shadow cast by the roof is not an ordinary shadow but is really the protection cast over the soul. There are seven letters that incorporate the shape of a shelter or tabernacle: Bet, Gimel, Dalet, Caf, Pe, Resh and Tav. The seven planets are said to correspond to these letters, and many other analogies are drawn by means of the number seven. We hear about the meaning, composition and purpose of the lulav, and why the lulav is taken in the right hand and the Etrog in the left. Next we hear that the Patriarchs, together with Moses, Aaron, David and Solomon, all come to Rabbi Shimon and bless him and praise his light. Rabbi Shimon begins talking about the seventy bullocks that Yisrael used to sacrifice during the seven days of Sukkot - one less bullock every day. He says that the clue to this decrease is found in the fact that the ark came to rest in the seventh month, when the waters were continually receding. In the same way the sins of Yisrael decrease and so too do the number of accusers. The purpose of Noah's ark and the purpose of the Sukkah are the same - to give protection. The Shechinah protects all those who keep the sign of the Covenant.