Friday, August 26, 2011

Pre-Hurricane Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Re'eh

Since there are no Rabbi Frand shiurim on the Parsha until Elul, I would like to substitute a vort from other Rabbanim each week, rather than leaving the blog without a vort for shabbos. This week, I am attempting to repeat a vort heard from R' Eli Mansour as recorded on Same rules as usual apply - I have attempted to reproduce the vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to the maggid shiur.

With the hurricane bearing down on NY and the eastern seaboard, it seems particularly appropriate to write about water and the one holiday most susceptable to water - Sukkos.

In the end of Parshas Re'eh, the Torah discusses the holidays including Parshas Sukkos. In describing Sukkos we attribute the term Z'man Simachaseinu - the time of happiness. The Torah uses the term simcha twice in Parshas Re'eh in connection with sukkos. The question is why is Sukkos a happy time?

The simple answer is that this the time that farmers are happy. They have toiled in their field all summer and at Sukkos they have harvested their crops as the rains are coming soon. But this cannot be the sole reason that Sukkos has the nickname Z'man Simchaseinu.

R' Mansour explained that the holiday of Sukkos has a unique ceremony - the pouring of the water. All year long, karbanos have three general components - meat (animal or bird), flour with oil and spices and wine. All three are not necessarily involved in every sacrifice, but these are the main components.

On Sukkos, during the non yom tov and shabbos days, the Jews would have a party demonstrating their happiness in drawing the water. The gemara explains that one who never saw the simchas beis hashoeva in their lifetime never saw happiness. This simcha was related to water which was drawn from Shiloach (currently known as Silwan) and brought up to the Beis Hamikdash. The water was poured into one of the sheesim - a hole in the corner of the altar.

R' Mansour quoted the Zohar who explained that the concept of the shisim was hinted to from the time of creation - Bereishis can be broken up to say Hashem created the Shisim where the water was poured.

The Zohar explains that the significance of the shisim was that they salved the water's conscience. The water was upset that Hashem had divided the water below and the water above. It cried to Hashem for being separated from shamayim on the second day of creation. To make the water feel better, the Jews bring water to the Beis Hamikdash on Sukkos and it is poured on the mizbayach and brought up to shamayim to rejoin Hashem.

I will try to post more about the significance of this water after Shabbos during the hours leading up to the hurricane.

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