Topic: Holidays & Time Zones | Posted:October 19, 2016
As Rav Berg would always remind us, the amount of Light that we receive from any connection depends on our consciousness. And on Sukkot, it's not enough to simply have consciousness; we also have to have excitement and joy. If one simply has consciousness, but not excitement and joy, he or she limits his ability to receive the Light from Sukkot. So, hopefully with this understanding, we can come to Sukkot and not only truly receive the overabundance of Light and blessings that exists, but also awaken greater excitement and joy.
One of my favorite teachings in the Zohar concerning the Sukkah within which we sit, eat, and sleep, is where the Zohar asks what the reason is that the Israelites traveled with what are called the seven clouds. These seven days, the seven clouds that were in the desert, have one purpose, one essence, one Light. It is called the bond of certainty. And because we need to access, awaken, and receive this bond of certainty, the Zohar tells us the secret of Sukkot and the secret of why we're sitting in the Sukkah is for only one reason: to bind ourselves to the bond of certainty, which means that whatever level of certainty we had up until this moment for the past year and for our entire past lifetime, the gift of Sukkot is such that if we have the consciousness, excitement, and joy, we can leave the seven days of Sukkot bound to certainty.
It says, quoting the verse in Song of Songs, “In His shade, I desired to reside, because I had a tremendous desire for the covering, for the shade of the Light of the Creator. Therefore, the fruit which represents life after Sukkot will be sweet to my mouth.” The Zohar specifically quotes this verse in the Song of Songs, because it's not enough to sit in the Sukkah. What King Solomon says in Songs of Songs is specific; “Because I have a tremendous desire to sit within this bond of certainty, therefore, we merit the sweetness and the endless blessings that the Sukkah has to give us.” So, what's Sukkot about? What is this Sukkah about? We are able in Sukkot to reach a level of certainty that we are unable to attain any other time of the year.
How do we get there? How do we make sure that we truly receive the Light of the Sukkah? The Zohar tells us the answer is a secret of the verse from King Solomon, from Song of Songs. You have to have a tremendous desire, you have to be excited, and then you merit receiving the sweetness and endless blessings in this year.
The Zohar is very specific with its words, and therefore, we can tell that there are endless secrets to this phrase; the Zohar says that every single person must “show himself” if he or she wants to receive and bond themselves to certainty. He needs to show that he is sitting within the shade and the bond of certainty. What does it mean to “show himself?”
When people look at you sitting in the Sukkah, they should say, “I can tell by this person's excitement and level of joy that he is sitting under the shade of the certainty of the Light of the Creator. He or she has no worries in their life. He or she is completely connected to Light of the Creator.” That's what it means to show yourself when people look at you sitting in the Sukkah; an observer should say, “This is a person sitting in the shade of the certainty of the Light of the Creator.” If a person simply sits, if a person simply connects, and others can't tell, then you are not showing yourself to be sitting, as the Zohar calls it, under the shade of certainty. And then the individual is limited in the amount of certainty that he or she can draw, and limited in the bond of certainty to which he attaches himself.
On the first day of Sukkot all the Light of Mercy, all the Light of certainty that we're going to draw throughout the rest of the days of Sukkot was awakened in order to truly receive, as the Zohar calls it, the bond of certainty. And we should remember this phrase and have it in our mind throughout all of Sukkot: A person should make sure that he is shown to be sitting in the shade of certainty. Which means it should be so obvious - our joy, our excitement, our clarity, our certainty as we sit in the Sukkah and receive from it this connection to the bond of certainty - that when people look at us, they'll say this is a person sitting within the bond of certainty.
The Zohar then continues to say that every person who sits under this shade of certainty needs to close their eyes and imagine that they are not sitting in a physical tent, but rather under this shade, this covering of certainty, that simply shines down endlessly to every single one of us who has this consciousness in the Sukkah. Because then, depending on our level of connection, excitement, and joy, each one of us who sits under this shade of certainty can merit receiving both freedom from pain and suffering and supernal blessings for ourselves and our family forever.