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Water Drawing and Sukkot Joy Essays

The Joyous Water-Drawing Ceremony
Simchat Beit Hashoeivah
Every Jewish festival is celebrated with joy. Often there are additional emotions added to the mix, but the holiday of Sukkot is pure joy. In our prayers, we call it simply “the season of our rejoicing.”
To See Happiness
When we are "thirsty", when we desire to be united with G-d in a way that transcends the limited scope of our thoughts and feelings, we derive pleasure from "water", from kabbalas ol...
Dwelling in a Changing World
Let's Rejoice!
Living somewhere for a week, even dwelling somewhere, is almost like staying at a beach house, a hotel, or a relative's place for a week. There is hardly time to unpack...
Hidden and Revealed
The first half of Tishrei is marked by solemnity, the second by elation; but the Chassidic masters explain that these are simply the "hidden" and "revealed" dimensions of the same elements
What Happened on Sukkot?
On its surface, the holiday of Sukkot is quite bizarre. Every other holiday on the Jewish calendar commemorates an event which occurred on that particular date; but absolutely nothing happened on the 15th of Tishrei!
The Ushpizin
Translated into English, the word loses some of its mystery and otherworldliness. Yet these “guests” are indeed quite mysterious (at least until we learn more about them) and otherworldly (at least until we make them part of ours) . . .
The Fifteen Steps
At the call of the dawn, two priests sounded their trumpets and began to descend the fifteen steps that led down from the Men’s Courtyard to the Women’s Courtyard . . .
The Taste of Water
It came to pass that one Sukkot, the honor of pouring the water on the altar was given to a Sadducee priest; but instead of pouring the water into its prescribed bowl in the southwest corner of the altar, this priest spilled it on his feet . . .
Unity in Three Dimensions
Sukkot is the festival that celebrates Jewish unity. Unity is the underlying theme of the festival’s three precepts: joy, the taking of the Four Kinds, and dwelling in the sukkah.
Rejoicing Together
The Zohar teaches that our Sukkos guests include not only those who visibly partake of the festive meals, but also guests from the spiritual realm...
Say No to Drugs
And All Other Artificially Induced Highs...
There is escapist happiness. There is true happiness. And then there is ultimate happiness. The sukkah is symbolic of this highest form of joy.
United We Sit
At the core of Sukkot is the quest for oneness. Let's take a look...
Immediately after Ne'ilah, the rejoicing increases, with a powerful enthusiasm, and it is the joy of inner closeness where previously there has been distance...
The water offering expresses how the waters descended for the sake of an ascent, ultimately reaching a higher level...
The spiritual service of Yom Kippur stems from yechidah, the attachment of the essence of the soul to G-d’s essence. On Sukkot this attachment is brought to revelation, until it envelops the whole person...
The rejoicing of a ba’al teshuvah is like the powerful rejoicing of a son who was separated from his father by a great distance and afterwards returned...
What’s Better than a Bottle of Wine?
A Metaphorical Journey Into Pleasure and Acceptance
Sometimes, what we crave is refreshing, restorative water to slake our thirst … like a Jew’s soul thirsts to reconnect to its G-dly source.
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