Topic: Holidays & Time Zones | Posted:October 7, 2014
Sukkot, following Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, is the seven day period of time when we receive what is called the Light of Mercy, which includes within it all the blessings and protection that we want to manifest and draw throughout the year. If not for the purification of Yom Kippur or the removal of judgments of Rosh Hashanah, we would not be able to receive all the blessings and protection that are available for us during Sukkot for the rest of the year.
To draw those blessings and that protection, we have to awaken the proper consciousness, the proper understanding, of where our mindset needs to be in order to manifest the Light of Sukkot.
There is a story in the Midrash that illustrates the type of consciousness one should come into the sukkah with. It is based on a verse in Psalms from King David where he is speaking to the Creator and says, “I put my trust in You, and therefore I have no fears, I have no doubt, because I know the Creator is going to come and support me.” The question the Midrash asks, however, is - it is fine that you want the Creator to be the source of all your protection, of all your blessings, of all your Light, but how do you know that the Creator wants to be that for you?
The Midrash answers by giving a story about a man, a thief, living in a village where the governor made it his mission to catch all the thieves.
One day, the governor’s soldiers caught this thief who told them, “You are working for the governor who works under the king, and I am one of the king’s best friends, and so, you cannot touch me.” When the soldiers heard this, of course they did not touch him. He is one of the closest friends to the king, they thought, so they held onto him until the morning when they brought him to the king.
The king, who does not recognize the thief, turns to him and asks how they know each other. The thief responds that they really don’t know each other, to which the king asks, then why did you tell them you are one of those closest to me?” The thief tells the king it is true that they are not close, and says, “But as you can see, I put my complete trust in you. Had I not said we were close, they would have hurt me.”
So the king, who was joyful, just as it is during the time of Sukkot, tells the soldiers to let the thief go, “because the thief put his complete trust in me and did not try to run away. He knew that if he came to me, I would protect him and let him go.”
And so King David says in Psalms, to the Creator, “I trust in You. And although it is true that You, the Creator, might not know me, I know You. And I put my trust in the Light. And therefore the Light has to protect me.” That is the gift of Sukkot. Sukkot is a time of joy, and as such, when you come to the king, or the Creator, who is joyful, even if you don’t necessarily do or say the right things, because the Creator is in such a good mood, He lets everybody in.
On Sukkot, the Zohar says, after the work during Rosh Hashanah and the cleansing of ourselves on Yom Kippur, some of the forces of judgment have been transformed, and some of them have been completely removed. But for those of us who do not necessarily think that we have completely cleansed all possible judgment or completely removed all of our negativity, we have Sukkot. And during Sukkot, the Zohar says, we run away from the judgment, we run away from the negativity into the house of the king, into the sukkah, the house of the Creator.
And it is true that the Creator, as in the story, will say to us, “Who are you? I do not know you, but now you are asking Me to protect you?” But on Sukkot, because there is such an overwhelming amount of Mercy coming from the Light of the Creator, even those of us who do not know it, who do not deserve to receive the Light and the blessings and the protection that the house of the Creator can give us, are allowed into the sukkah. We are all allowed to receive not only for today, but for the year, all the Light of Protection from the king’s house, the house of the Creator. It really is a beautiful thing.