1. [The Rebbe Shlita said “Good Yom Tov” three times and all the assembled responded. He then started the song “Vesamachta Bechagecha.”]

The subject of “Simchas Bais HaShoeivah” is mainly related to dancing and singing, yet there is room for discussion of Simchas Bais HaShoeivah also, since we find in the Gemara regarding the activities of “Simchas Bais HaShoeivah:

Some of them used to say, “Happy our youth that has not disgraced our old age....” and some of them used to say ... “Happy our old age which has atoned for our youth....” The former and the latter, however, said “Happy he who has not sinned.” (Sukkah 53a)

Thus, there is also a need for scholarly discussion.

In observance of Simchas Bais HaShoeivah, Chabad Chassidim would traditionally gather for a farbrengen, where words of Torah would be discussed and the inspiring talks would lead to song and dance. Among Polish Chassidim, for example, the joy of Simchas Bais HaShoeivah would be expressed solely through singing and dancing.

In recent years, we too have been placing more emphasis on actual singing and dancing in our Simchas Bais HaShoeivah festivities. There are several reasons for this. We want to effect greater unity among different circles of the Jewish people. How better to accomplish this than by introducing more music and revelry (without minimizing the original emphasis).

The Gemara notes on the verse:

All that are homeborn shall dwell in Sukkos, (Vayikra 23:42)

this indicates that one of the themes of Sukkos is the unity of the Jewish people.

There may even be a common aspect to the particular intellectual way of Chabad, with the actual dancing and singing. True understanding must penetrate the entire being of the person — even his heels must be affected by his knowledge. Similarly, in dancing a person raises and lowers his feet with the intention of raising them again, next step, just a bit higher.

Likewise, the goal of learning is to enlighten also the public domain — and the dancing has also been taking place out in the street — to the point that the nations also help us and join us (by providing police protection, etc.).

Appropriately, we find in the Haftorah of the first day of Sukkos:

And it will be that all who survive from the nations who came against Yerushalayim will go up year after year to bow down to the King, the L‑rd of hosts, and to celebrate the Festival of Sukkos. (Zechariah 14:16)

The prophet goes on to speak of the evil that will befall those who do not celebrate the holiday of Sukkos. From the converse of which we may deduce that the reward for those who do celebrate Sukkos will be very great. This is analogous to the non-Jews who today assist and join us in our celebration of Simchas Bais HaShoeivah.

We may even say that this is a preparatory state for the ultimate promise:

For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the L‑rd to serve Him with one consent. (Tzephaniah 3:9)

For us it is surely an auspicious happening. For although G‑d chose us from among the nations and in that sense we are beyond comparison, yet we say in the prayer of Yom Tov:

You have raised us above all tongues, (Siddur)

even in those areas where we can be compared, G‑d has raised us above all other nations.

The rejoicing at the place of the water-drawing (Simchas Bais HaShoeivah) represents a common factor of all the days of Sukkos — yet each day is different and each day must bring an increase in joy.

Actually there is joy in our Divine service all year round; “I was created to serve my Maker,” and it must be done with joy. This joy can and should increase with the passing of time. As one moves in his Divine service “from strength to strength ...” there is additional joy, to the point of coming close to G‑d, as the verse concludes: “to appear before G‑d in Zion.” (Tehillim 84:8) This represents the joy of the rest of the year; on Sukkos it is magnified. The aspect of Jewish unity is related to dwelling together in a Sukkah. In relation to this aspect the Sukkah introduces the unity in a transcendental manner while the Lulav and Esrog effect the permeative immanence.

Similarly, the Simchas Bais HaShoeivah emphasizes the unity of the Jewish people, for although there were different forms of participation, the bottom line was that everyone participated; there was true unity.

“To appear before G‑d ...” is also an aspect of Aliyah Leregel — actually going to Yerushalayim — which is also a mitzvah of Sukkos. Thus when we speak of the joy of a person’s Divine service all year round and then we come to Sukkos, the Season of Our Rejoicing, and the time of Simchas Bais HaShoeivah, we can see the intensification of all the aspects of joy of the entire year. Especially since the joy of Simchas Bais HaShoeivah gives us the sensitivity to appreciate and evaluate all aspects of joy, all year, as the Mishnah says:

He who has not seen the rejoicing at the place of the water-drawing has never seen rejoicing in his life. (Sukkah 51a)

Hence, we can appreciate the lofty quality of Simchas Bais HaShoeivah as it expresses the joy of Sukkos, and the joy of the place of the water-drawing, in their fullness — greater than all year.

Similarly, each day of Sukkos we must advance in the joy of Simchas Bais HaShoeivah and since tonight is the second night of Sukkos that increase must begin tonight to rise above the strength of the joyousness of the first night and increase the joy of Simchas Bais HaShoeivah.

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Tonight’s Simchas Bais HaShoeivah is connected with tonight’s “Ushpizin — guests.” According to the Zohar the guests of the Sukkah are: Avraham, Yitzchok, Yaakov, Yosef, Moshe, Aharon and Dovid and the Chassidic “Ushpizin” are: The Baal Shem Tov, the Maggid, the Alter Rebbe, the Mitteler Rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek, the Maharash, the Rashab [and the “guest” of Shemini Atzeres is the Previous Rebbe.]

Tonight being the second night, the primary “Ushpizin” are Yitzchok Avinu and the Great Maggid. Of course all the other Sukkah guests also join us, but these two are first.

We will also find a connection between these Ushpizin and the Chumash section and Rambam section that we study today.

In the past, the common theme of Yitzchok Avinu and the Maggid has been described as expressed in the verse:

Do not leave your place. (Koheles 10:4)

This would apply to Yitzchok, for we know that he never left Eretz Yisrael.

The Maggid also was unique in the fact that during the years of his leadership he never left his city to travel anywhere. All of the other Chassidic Ushpizin did travel — but we have no record of the Maggid ever leaving his home in Mezritch, from the time he assumed the mantle of leadership until his death.

The stories of the travels of the other Chassidic Ushpizin, in many instances, were transmitted to us as part of the legacy and history of Chassidus. In fact, many of the Maamarim which were taught when the Rebbe was away from home, or in transit, were later transcribed and the place where the Maamar was spoken was specifically noted in the heading of the Maamar. In the case of the Alter Rebbe we have the Maamarim said in Liozna, Vitebsk, etc. Similarly it was so with the later Rebbeim, and when no place was mentioned it was known to have been said in Lubavitch.

Just as we may learn from the travels of the other Ushpizin, so may we learn from the fact that the Maggid did not travel. In this respect he was similar to Yitzchok.

What is the lesson in our Divine service to our Maker. One must be very careful when he is involved in carrying out spiritual duties or in fulfilling his religious responsibilities, that he should not abruptly leave one commitment to undertake something else. Depending on the condition and the time, he must remember that his dedication to the job is of primary importance — not to jump from one responsibility, even to undertake an admittedly equally important new task. “Do not leave your place,” remember that you must honestly measure where you should place your effort. This is especially true when it comes to aspects of Divine service connected to certain times of the year. Then, certainly those responsibilities must take precedence — they cannot be done later — and everything else must be put aside.

The Rambam section also relates to this:

He who eats of the Passover offering may eat of it only in one company. Nothing of it may be carried forth from the company in which he eats ... from one company to another.... (Laws of Passover Offering 9:1)

This law holds true even:

If two companies eat in a single room. (Ibid. 9:3)

This is the rule — do not leave your place. Here we have a connection also with the concept of all Jews being in one Sukkah.

When we interrelate these ideas it appears as follows: Even when you are united in the enveloping unity of one Sukkah, or one house, still, if you have your specific job, because you are part of one particular company, you may not jump from one group to another, and from one responsibility to another.

The first chapter of the Laws of Festival Offerings of Rambam is also part of today’s learning section. It discusses the mitzvah of Aliyah Leregel. Chassidus explains that the spiritual symbolism of Aliyah Leregel is the inner spiritual prostration — the self-nullification and bittul which is another aspect of knowing and staying in one’s place!

* * *

Now let us see how this theme relates to the content of today’s Chumash portion which deals with the blessing to Yosef. Superficially we may make an immediate observation. Today’s Chumash section deals only with Yosef, every other section of the parshah deals with more than one tribe. This uniqueness reminds us again of the idea of sticking to one job when you have the responsibility, and not going from one “tribe” to another.

Now, what is Yosef’s blessing? It begins, “His land is a blessing of G‑d,” and goes on to speak in superlatives and exquisite metaphors: a monumental abundance, which includes the gamut of all existence, from the “dew of Heaven” the highest level, to the depths of the “Tehom” the nethermost place.

Chassidus explains that the endowment of monumental blessing, of supreme benevolence, stems from Yitzchok — not Avraham, not Yaakov, not even Moshe generated such blessing — only Yitzchok, for “the source and the substance of the great blessings are drawn down to the world by Yitzchok.” If we find that Moshe promises such extreme benevolence to one tribe it is clearly in association with Yitzchok. Hence, the connection between Yosef, the beneficiary of these momentous blessings, and Yitzchok (today’s Ushpizin).

There is a Chassidic discourse of the Maggid which deals with the last blessing to Yosef: “His glory is like a first born ox and his horns are the horns of aurochs.” (Ibid. 33:17)

The Maggid explains that the prayers of Rosh Hashanah and Sukkos evoke the mercies of the Avos, Avraham, Yitzchok and Yaakov and it is through the efforts of Yaakov that the powers of Yitzchok are drawn down as blessings.

In speaking of the future redemption the Maggid teaches that much emphasis is placed on Mashiach benYosef. The Shofar of Mashiach is also related to the ram of Yitzchok. The future redemption is also more closely related to Yitzchok as the Gemara relates that he will give the strongest argument for redemption. (See Shabbos 89b)

May it be G‑d’s will, that you will all increase in all your action along these lines and especially in the action of the joy of Simchas Bais HaShoeivah — more song, more clapping and dancing. And just as in the korban Pesach the women were included, so too, in this simchah women should also participate (in separate groups).

As we will increase the joy of Simchas Bais HaShoeivah while we are still in the galus, so should we merit to celebrate the joy of the Simchas Bais HaShoeivah in Sukkos, this year, in our Holy Land, the true place of the Jewish people, with the true and ultimate redemption.

And in our Holy Land we should be in the Holy City Yerushalayim in the Third Bais HaMikdash where we will all see the revelation of G‑dliness. May we leave the galus in unity and entirety — and while still here may we merit to receive an abundance in physical and spiritual blessings.

More importantly, we should immediately merit the true and complete redemption, when the promise we read on the second day of Sukkos will come true, “The L‑rd shall be king over the entire earth.” And then: “It will be that all who survive from all the nations who came against Yerushalayim will go up, year after year, to bow down to the King, the L‑rd of Hosts, and to celebrate the festival of Sukkos.” With the coming of our righteous Mashiach, quickly and truly in our days.