1. In general, the second night of Sukkos contains two elements: a) the individual quality associated with it in its own right; a) its connection with the holiday of Sukkos as a whole.

The latter context can be expanded to include a greater whole, the entire month of Tishrei. This is a month of general importance. The Previous Rebbe explained that the holidays of Tishrei have an effect on the entire year to come. For example, from Sukkos, “the season of our rejoicing,” we derive the potential for happiness for the entire year.

The letters of Tishrei can be rearranged to form the word “reishis” meaning “head.” The head contains, in microcosm, all the limbs of the entire body. Thus, Rosh Hashanah, the “head of the year”, contains within itself the entire year to come. In a similar manner, all the days of Tishrei, can be considered as “the head” — and of general significance — in regard to the coming year.

Nevertheless, despite this general significance, the second night of Sukkos has a unique service of its own which serves as the “gateway to heaven” for all other services carried out on that day.

We find a parallel to the latter concept in the Talmud. One Sage asked another: “Which mitzvah did your father fulfill with greater care?” The AriZal explains that this question implies that each soul has a particular mitzvah which is most important for it to fulfill and therefore, must perform with greater care. This mitzvah is the “gateway” through which all the other mitzvos this soul performs are elevated.

The same concept applies in regard to time. Each day has a particular service associated with it that serves as the means to elevate all other services. This is also reflected in the “song of the day.” The purpose of that song is to elevate the entire service of that day.

Based on the instruction given by the Alter Rebbe, “live with the times,” i.e., adapt your life to the Torah portion of the day, it follows that today’s unique quality is associated with the today’s portion of the Torah as proscribed by the custom of Chitas.

(Parenthetically, it can be noted that there are three cycles of time, weekly, monthly, and yearly. The three texts studied as Chitas are integrated according to these three cycles: The Chumash is studied in a weekly cycle; Tehillim, in a monthly cycle; and Tanya, in a yearly cycle.)

In addition, on each day of Sukkos, there is a further lesson that can be derived from the Ushpizin, both the Ushpizin mentioned in the Zohar and the Chassidic Ushpizin mentioned by the Previous Rebbe. Though all the Ushpizin come on each day of the holiday, each day has a specific Ushpizah who is associated with that day. The Ushpizin associated with the present night are the patriarch Yitzchok, and the Maggid of Mezritch.

All the abovementioned lessons must be able to be grasped by every Jew. The very name, Yisrael — Israel — is interpreted as an acronym for the Hebrew words meaning “There are 600,000 letters in the Torah” corresponding to the 600,000 Jewish souls. In particular, it is explained that each Torah concept has 600,000 explanations on a number of different levels. Thus, it follows that each aspect of Torah can be explained to each and every Jew, even the most simple.

Even though individuals such as the Ushpizin are far above our level, nevertheless, we can still derive lessons from them. Since “the Torah which Moshe commanded us is the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob,” each Jew can see it as his own inheritance, belonging to him in its entirety. Each Jew was present at Mount Sinai when the entire Torah — even those aspects which will not be revealed until the Messianic age — was given. Therefore, there is the potential to communicate all Torah concepts to every Jew, regardless of his level.

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2. Many of the ideas associated with the second day of Sukkos and its Ushpizin were mentioned in previous years. Furthermore, these concepts have already been published and there is no need to repeat them at length. However, it is worthy to mention the essential point of the lesson.

Also, it is worthwhile to dwell on a concept that was not touched on in previous years, the connection between the Ushpizin and the daily portion of Psalms. This matter was not mentioned yesterday so today, there are two points to discuss: the connection between the Patriarch Avraham, the Baal Shem Tov, and yesterday’s portion of Psalms; and the connection between the Patriarch Yitzchok, the Maggid, and today’s portion of Psalms.

One of the connecting points between Avraham and the Baal Shem Tov is their association with water. In the holiday liturgy, we refer to Avraham with the phrase: “Remember the patriarch who was drawn after You like water.” The analogy is appropriate for Avraham is distinguished by the quality of kindness and love which is often described with the metaphor of water.

The Baal Shem Tov’s behavior also followed a pattern characteristic of water which “descends from a higher place to a lower place.” Thus, we find countless stories of how the Baal Shem Tov journeyed from his own place to the places where it was necessary for him to act.

(Thus, we see how the stories of the Baal Shem Tov, particularly, the stories told by the Previous Rebbe, are not just interesting stories, but rather sources which must be contemplated with the intent of deriving lessons in the service of G‑d.)

Water also features significantly in the portion of Psalms connected with yesterday: Many verses mention water: e.g., Psalms 77:17-20: “The waters saw You, G‑d, the waters saw You... the clouds poured out water... Your path was through great waters,” and Psalms 78:13, 16, 20: “He made the waters stand... caused waters to run down like rivers... He smote the rock and the waters gushed out....” Furthermore, Psalm 78, the Psalm which concludes the portion, describes the history of the Jews from the exodus from Egypt until the building of the Temple with allusion to the third Temple to be built by Mashiach. This completes the “dwelling place for G‑d in the lower worlds.” G‑d’s descent to that dwelling place follows the tendency of water.

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3. Among the points of connection between the present day and the daily portion of Psalms is the verse: “Blow the shofar on the New Moon, on the designated day of our Holy Day.” As explained, Chassidus interprets this verse to mean that all the influences which are hidden on Rosh Hashanah, the day the shofar is blown, come into revelation on “our Holy Day,” the holiday of Sukkos.

In addition, there is a lesson connecting the portion of Psalms to the Ushpizin. In regard to the Patriarch Yitzchok and the Maggid of Mezritch, their common point can be described by the verse, “Do not abandon your place;” i.e., of all the Patriarchs, Yitzchok was the only one who remained in Eretz Yisrael for his entire life, never leaving for the diaspora. Similarly, in regard to the Maggid: All the other Rebbeim left their own town or city on different journeys. In contrast, from the time the Maggid became the Nasi, he never left Mezritch. Rather, students came to him from various places and they spread his teachings throughout the world.

This concept relates to today’s portion of Psalms in the following manner: The portion begins with the verse: “G‑d, gentiles have entered Your inheritance” and concludes “For You will take possession of all the nations.”

On the surface, this represents two opposite states. The first verse refers to the very depths of the destruction, while the final verse refers to the Messianic era when the entire world will be G‑d’s “possession” and His sovereignty will be revealed throughout the nations.

Nevertheless, this seeming discrepancy can be resolved by interpreting the concept of “gentiles entering Your inheritance” in a positive manner. That concept can be explained as follows:

The existence of evil is the lowest of all levels. Beginning from the worlds of unlimited dimension, there is a chain of descent in the spiritual realms until, on the lowest of all levels, evil comes into existence. Accordingly, it follows that anything found in the realm of evil has its source in the realms of holiness. Only after a multiple process of descent can the aspect of evil come into being.

Similarly, despite its obvious negative connotations, since the concept of “gentiles entering Your inheritance” has its source in a verse from the Torah, it follows that the initial expression of the concept exists in the realms of holiness and only through a process of descent in the spiritual realms can the actual, simple meaning of the verse come about. As will be explained, this concept is related to the idea of “Do not abandon your place.”

The service of the Jews is intended to create a dwelling for G‑d in the lower worlds. There are two paths to accomplish this goal: a) the revelation from above to below, i.e., the higher level descends in order to influence the lower level as water descends from above to below. This was the path of Avraham and the Baal Shem Tov; b) the elevation of the lower level to the higher level; i.e., the higher level remains in its place and from its place, causes the lower level to elevate itself until it reaches the higher level. This is the service of Yitzchok and the Maggid, the service of “Do not abandon your place.”

The service of elevating the lower level without leaving one’s own place can also be found in regard to the gentile nations. In King Solomon’s time, the gentile nations were elevated without having to descend to their level. The light of holiness shined with great power and the sparks of G‑dliness that were present among the gentiles were drawn to that great light themselves. For example, the Queen of Sheba — without being forced, but rather, on her own volition — came and brought all the sparks of holiness from her land to Solomon. Thus, though Solomon followed the path of service of “do not abandon your place,” he was still able to elevate and refine nations in the furthest ends of the world.

This is the positive interpretation that can be given to the verse “gentiles have entered Your inheritance.” Through following the service of “do not abandon your place,” it is possible that — without descending to the gentiles’ level — they will be motivated to seek to elevate themselves to the point where they will desire to “enter Your inheritance” — to become part of the realm of holiness.

Because this potential was not used to its utmost, there was a descent and the verse “gentiles have entered Your inheritance” became understood according to its simple interpretation. However, at its source, it represents a high spiritual level as explained. Thus, it serves as a preparation for the concluding verse: “For You will take possession of all the nations,” when G‑d’s total control of the world will be revealed.

The above serves as a lesson for every Jew. There are times when he must remain in his place and from there, work to elevate those around him. The above does not discount the positive nature of the service of descending to the lower level. On the contrary, generally the service of refinement is carried out by lowering oneself to lower levels as Avraham and the Baal Shem Tov did. Indeed, this is the path taken when spreading the wellsprings of Chassidus outward, bringing them into the outer reaches themselves. However, at specific times, for example, the second night of Sukkos when the Ushpizin and the daily portion of Psalms teach this lesson, it is necessary to appreciate the advantage of the service of “Do not abandon your place.”

Based on the above, it is necessary to clarify that even on such a night, it is necessary to celebrate Simchas Beis HaShoeivah by dancing in the streets. One might suppose that tonight, it would be sufficient to hold these celebrations in a synagogue or house of study without necessarily going out into the street. However, we must realize that the street also is part of the Jews’ place and therefore, is included in the advice “Do not abandon your place.”

A Jew will walk through the street on a pleasure stroll. He will pass through the street as he receives “Sechar halichah” going to shul or going to offer another Jew the opportunity to perform the mitzvah of shaking the lulav. Thus, the street is an integral part of his existence. (In particular, this applies on Shabbos and the festivals when one cannot travel to a far place and the street we are talking about is that part of the street which is extremely close to one’s own home.) Therefore, even on such a night, dancing in the street is appropriate.

Based on the above, we can appreciate a more general lesson from the charge: “Do not abandon your place.” A Jew’s essential place is Torah and mitzvos. However, even involvement in mundane affairs can be considered as a Jew’s “place” if it brings about greater involvement in Torah and mitzvos.

Similarly, the diaspora is not a Jew’s true place. However, if one lives in the diaspora in order to continue the task of refining the sparks of holiness contained with the world’s material substance, he can consider the diaspora “his place.”

This is not a negative tendency. On the contrary, when a Jew considers the diaspora “his place,” this hastens the coming of the redemption when we will leave the diaspora. The Maggid interpreted the statement: “Know what is above you” as “Know that what is above is dependent on you.” G‑d accompanies the Jews into exile. Thus, when a Jew sees the diaspora as his place, he forces G‑d, as it were, to see Himself as in exile. Since that is impossible, this will motivate G‑d to reverse the nature of the circumstances and bring about the redemption.

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4. The second day of Sukkos also provides us with a lesson in regard to our relations with gentiles. It is explained that the seventy bulls offered as mussaf sacrifices throughout the holiday of Sukkos correspond to the seventy nations of the world. Each day the number of bulls sacrificed decreased indicating how the “goyishe” tendencies of the gentiles must always decrease and how it is necessary for them to take on a different identity, one associated with the fulfillment of the seven commandments given to Noach and offering aid and assistance to the Jewish people.

This concept is emphasized on the second day of Sukkos when the number of bulls offered was decreased for the first time. Also, this is associated with the Haftorah read this morning which mentions the Messianic prophecy describing how the holiday of Sukkos will be celebrated by all the nations.

Similarly, our celebration of Simchas Beis HaShoeivah will also have an effect on the gentiles. Not only will they not disturb the celebrations, they will assist in preparing the celebrations. Furthermore, they will also be inspired to participate by standing on the side and clapping and the like.

The second day of Sukkos also teaches that — based on the principle that one must always increase in regard to holy matters — tonight’s celebrations must exceed those of the previous night. Even though yesterday’s celebrations were not lacking, tonight’s must have added energy and power.

Even though tonight is a festival and during the time of the Temple, Simchas Beis HaShoeivah was not held on the night of a festival, this is one of the points in which our celebrations can exceed those held during the Temple times. In a similar manner, during the time of the Temple, only the Sages and the leaders of the people would actively participate in Simchas Beis HaShoeivah and most people would passively participate. However, at present, every Jew, even children must take an active role in these celebrations.

May these celebrations which we hold during the time of exile hasten the time when we will participate in Simchas Beis HaShoeivah in the Temple, with the Messianic redemption, may it be speedily in our days.