1. Simchas Bais Hashoevah is an unusually joyous occasion, as our Sages said: “Whoever has not seen Simchas Bais Hashoevah has not seen joy in his life.” Although it was celebrated in the Bais Hamikdosh, nevertheless, since all matters of Torah are eternal, something similar to it exists also after the destruction of the Bais Hamikdosh. Moreover, nowadays, “we render the prayer of our lips as payment for (i.e. in place of) the sacrifice of bullocks.” Payment is only considered proper when paid in full, and thus Simchas Bais Hashoevah (and other things) in the time of exile is not just similar to the times of the Bais Hamikdosh, but is fully it. In addition, everything in the month of Tishrei, which is the “head” of the year, is an all-encompassing matter. For example, Rosh Hashanah is the source for accepting the yoke of heaven the whole year, and Sukkos is the source of joy the entire year. Certainly then, Simchas Bais Hashoevah which is one of the all-encompassing matters, can be fully celebrated even now, in exile. Hence, every night we have talked of successively increasing in the joy of Simchas Bais Hashoevah.

For joy to be present every night (especially an increase in joy) there must be a new element present. We find, for example, that to say “Sheva Berachos” on the seven days of rejoicing after a marriage, requires a “new face” present each time -for the element of newness brings (added) joy. In our case, the “new face” each night (and day) is one of the seven “guests” who visit each night of SukkosAvraham, Yitzchok, Ya’akov, Moshe, Aharon, Yosef and Dovid. Although all seven visit each day, nevertheless, each day has its special guest who leads the other that come with him. And since each guest is associated with a unique concept, each day has an element of newness.

Although all seven of the guests were servants and emissaries of G‑d, each fulfilling Torah and mitzvos to perfection, each one had a special path of serving G‑d. For example, Avraham, our Sages say, “kept the entire Torah;” nevertheless his principal mode of service was in the realm of chesed — loving kindness, meaning all aspects of his service were permeated with the traits of love and kindness. Yitzchok’s principal service was in the realm of Yirah — awe and fear, to the extent that even the mitzvah of loving G‑d was permeated with awe of G‑d. Ya’akov’s service was principally in the area of tiferes.

2. The guest of the fourth night of Sukkos, tonight, is Moshe, whose unique contribution was Torah, as stated “Remember the Torah of Moshe My servant” — as our Sages said: “Because he was willing to sacrifice his life for the Torah it is called by his name.” This is the reason why he. is called “Moshe Rabbeinu Moshe our Teacher,” for his principal area was Torah. Although there were many other areas in which Moshe excelled, to the extent that everything given to the Jews in the desert was through Moshe -”the faithful shepherd” — nevertheless, his principal thing was Torah, through which all the other things came. And when talking of “the Torah of Moshe,” it includes all aspects of the Torah, both the Written and the Oral Torah.

Simchas Bais Hashoevah itself explains the idea of total belief in the Torah of Moshe. Simchas Bais Hashoevah is associated with the water libation -”you shall draw water with joy.” Although the wine libation is also associated with joy — for “Song is said only over wine” since it “makes joyous G‑d and men” — it is a much more novel thing that the celebration was of the drawing of water, for water does not seem to have any intrinsic connection with joy. Hence “you shall draw water with joy” is a startling idea, and therefore the principal joy (Simchas Bais Hashoevah) is when drawing water, not wine. This is true although the wine libation is explicitly mentioned in the Written Torah, whereas the water libation is not, but is found in the Oral Torah. And this is the very reason why it is celebrated so joyously: Because it is not explicitly mentioned in the Written Torah, it must be emphasized that it too is a part of the “Torah of Moshe” — and therefore was celebrated with great joy.

We find this point stressed in the following story related in the Talmud (Sukkah 48b): The water libation was performed by pouring the water onto the altar. The Sadducees did not believe in the Oral Law, only the Written Law, and since the water libation is found only in the Oral Law they did not believe in it. Hence, the Talmud relates, “One time a Sadducee, (instead of pouring the water onto the Altar), poured out the water over his feet, and all the people stoned him with their Esrogim.” As a result, from then on, the priest who performed the libation was told ‘raise your hand,’ so that all could see he was pouring the water on the altar.

This story teaches us a valuable lesson: The pouring of the water by the Sadducee over his feet was because he did not believe in the Torah of Moshe. Something that he understands, with his intellect, he will believe in; but if he does not understand it, he claims it is not part of the Torah of Moshe. Since the water libation is not found in the Written Torah, he claims it is not the Torah of Moshe. This was the philosophy of the Sadducees: The Written Torah is Moshe’s Torah; the interpretation of the Written Torah — which is the Oral Torah — is not Moshe’s Torah. This means that the Written Torah may be interpreted by each person according to his individual desire and intellect.

This is the reason why he poured the water over his feet. For whatever reason, this Sadducee was the priest who was performing the service of the altar, and therefore was forced to also perform the water libation. But since he did not believe in the Oral Torah, he did not pour the water in the proper place indicated by the Oral Torah (in a bowl on the altar from which it went inside the altar), but poured it over his feet. The feet indicate the opposite of honor and respect, for all service in the Bais Hamikdosh had to be performed with the hand. But since he did not accept the water libation, he did not consider it part of the service to be done by hand, but considered it appropriate to the feet.

Therefore, “all the people stoned him with their esrogs.” This teaches us the following: “Stoned him” — The punishment of stoning is, as seen from the word itself, done with stones. The people thereby emphasized that the Sadducee’s heart was of stone. For it not, how could a person say that Moshe Rabbeinu received the Written Torah without its interpretation?! “All the people” — “people” refers not to the intellectual elite, but the simple folk. Precisely because they were simple unpretentious folk they had simple, plain faith in G‑d; and the belief in the Torah of Moshe — all of it, the Oral as well as the Written — permeated their entire beings. Therefore it was specifically they who stoned the Sadducee.

“With their esrogs” — Of the four kinds, the esrog is the loftiest, for it has both taste and smell. In man’s soul powers, it corresponds to the intellect, the loftiest of all the soul-powers. The stoning of the Sadducee “with their esrogs” shows that the simple faith of the people permeated their intellect, to the extent that it was with their esrogs (their intellect permeated with simple faith) that they eradicated the Sadducee who tried to impugn their belief in the Torah of Moshe. Thus this story strongly stresses faith and belief in Moshe’s Torah — that all of Torah (Written and Oral) was given to Moshe from Sinai.

3. There is a connection between the “guest” of each day and the daily portion of Chumash. Today’s guest is Moshe, and the daily portion is the third of parshas Berachah, which consists of Moshe’s blessing to the tribe of Yosef. Although Yosef himself is one of the “guests,” and therefore seemingly it would be more logical that the portion concerning the blessing to the tribe of Yosef fall out on the day on which Yosef is the guest, nevertheless, all the guests are present every day — but on each particular day the concept of one of the guests is specially emphasized. Thus in our case, the matters of Yosef are included in Moshe, and this year, there is special emphasis on this particular aspect (of Yosef included in Moshe).

The blessing of Moshe to Yosef states: “To Yosef he said: His land shall be blessed by the L‑rd, with the precious things of heaven, with dew, and with the waters that lie deep; with the precious crops [brought forth] by the sun, and with the precious fruits put forth by the moon; with the early ripening of its fruits on the mountains which hasten to ripen them, and with the precious fruits of the hills which produce unceasingly; and with the precious things of the earth and its fullness...” Rashi interprets “precious things” to mean “delicacies and sweet things” which is the idea of ta’anug — delight. The blessing to Yosef then is that all the blessings should be in the manner of delight.

Thus the concept of Yosef as it is included in Moshe (the “guest of today”) is the idea of delight in Torah (since, as explained previously, the idea of Moshe is Torah). Moreover, the phrase “precious things” is said five times in the blessing to Yosef, corresponding to the five books in the Torah of Moshe.

Torah is called “bread,” and therefore, the concept of delight in Torah (spiritual bread) comes down into physical bread. Thus we find the idea of delight in the “bread” that Moshe gave the Jews in the desert — “bread from the heaven” — manna. Scripture states that “its taste was like wafers made with honey,” and “its taste was like the taste of oil cake,” honey and oil indicating the idea of delight. Likewise with “bread from the earth,” as the verse states: “He fed him with the finest of wheat, and with honey out of the rock I will satisfy you.”

The lesson from this in practical terms: Our Sages state: “The Torah was not given except to the eaters of the manna.” When a Jew learns Torah he must be as a “eater of manna,” meaning he does not worry about livelihood etc. When learning, his entire existence is devoted to Torah, and automatically his Torah study is with delight (since he has no worries or disturbances). Through this all blessings come down, and in the manner of delight, similar to the “eaters of the manna” whose physical needs were provided in the manner of delight.

The idea of delight in Torah is also associated with the “Chassidic guest” of today, the Mitteler Rebbe. The Mitteler Rebbe was distinguished by his elaborate and lengthy explanations in Chassidus. This is the idea of delight, in contrast to when a concept is only in seminal form. Thus the teachings of the Mitteler Rebbe reveal the idea of delight in the study of the esoteric — similar to the idea of delight in the Torah of Moshe.