1. Simchas Bais Hashoevah is celebrated every night of Sukkos. However, the joy of each night is not just one continuous one, but there is a new element in the celebration of Simchas Dais Hashoevah each night. Simchas Dais Hashoevah is associated with the verse “You shall draw water with joy from the wellsprings of salvation,” and the waters from a “wellspring” are continually gushing forth anew.

Although the drawing of water from a wellspring is a ‘descent’ for the water, since it is now no longer connected to its source, nevertheless, through this descent, a greater level is reached — the pouring of the water on the altar. The Zohar states that when G‑d made a separation between the lower and upper waters — “He divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament” — the lower waters cried and said “We want to be before the King.” Our Sages explain that G‑d appeased the lower waters and promised them that they would be offered on the altar with salt (i.e. salt comes from the lower waters — the oceans); and would be poured on the altar (during Sukkos).

When water is still in the ‘wellspring,’ it is still on the level of the ‘lower waters.’ It is only through the ‘descent’ of being drawn away from the spring that it can be brought on the altar as a water libation, and the water libation is comparable to the sacrifices, which reach the loftiest heights. Simultaneously, its effect reaches to the lowest places, being beyond any limitations of above or below.

When the water libation is made, not only is the weeping of the ‘lower’ waters stilled, but great joy is produced — the Simchas Bais Hashoevah, of which it is stated: “Whosoever did not see the Simchas Bais Hashoevah never saw joy in his life.” Moreover, this joy affects not only the waters themselves (the stilling of their weeping), but also Jews. It is not so surprising that it produces joy in the waters, for they have no free choice. However, when it produces joy among beings who do possess free choice, Jews — it is a wondrous thing!

Although the Bais Hamikdosh no longer physically exists, its concepts remain in man’s spiritual service. Hence, the greatness of the water libation on the altar, following its ‘descent’ of being removed from the wellspring, is also present in man’s spiritual service.

Every Jew is on the level of a ‘wellspring’ — “a well of living waters,” whose source is “the G‑d who gave it (the soul),” Who is called “the source of living water.” After a soul descends to earth, it is on the level of ‘lower waters.’ Its descent to this world, to be enclothed in a physical body, is similar to the ‘descent’ of the lower waters after G‑d separated them. Nevertheless, through this descent, the soul reaches a higher level than was previously possible before it descended into this world. This later ascent is comparable to the elevation the ‘lower waters’ received after their descent — when they were poured on the altar.

Just as the water libation produced joy not just in the waters, but also in the Jews, so too in this case. The Rambam writes that the obligation to be joyous on Yom Tov (the festivals) encompasses the obligation to ensure that others, the poor, the orphan, the widow etc. also be joyous — “There is no greater and more beautiful joy than to make joyous the hearts of the poor...” This applies also to the joy of Simchas Bais Hashoevah. When a Jew celebrates Simchas Bais Hashoevah, it is not enough that he personally is rejoicing, but he must make sure that everyone else is also joyous. He must not wait for others to ask him how they should conduct themselves, but he himself seeks out other Jews and makes them joyous. He tells them that although Simchas Bais Hashoevah was celebrated last night, tonight it is celebrated with even greater joy!

2. The “Guest” of today, the sixth day of Sukkos, is. Yosef, and the “Chassidic Guest” is the Rebbe Maharash. The Ba’al Shem Tov taught that a name of a person in the holy tongue expresses his essence. Yosef means ‘addition,’ teaching us that the joy of today must be greater than the preceding days. Moreover, the Tzemach Tzedek explains that the verse “The L‑rd shall add to me another son” (the reason why Yosef was given his name) expresses the concept of Yosef — “to convert the ‘other’ (those removed from Judaism) to the level of ‘son’ (those who are close to Judaism).” Not only to annul the concept of ‘other,’ and not only to convert it to the level of ‘servant,’ but to convert it to the level of ‘son’ — an infinitely great difference. Accordingly, today’s joy must be infinitely greater than previously.

So too with the Rebbe Maharash. A famous dictum of the Rebbe Maharash is: “The world maintains that [when faced by an obstacle] if we can not go under it, it must be gone over. I say that we must go over it in the first place.” The difference between going under and over is infinitely great, similar to the difference between the level of ‘other’ and the level of ‘son.’ Hence we see the great joy of today’s Simchas Bais Hashoevah, consonant with the Rebbe Maharash’s dictum.

The above applies every year. There is an additional lesson to be learned from the day of the week on which the sixth day of Sukkos falls out. This year it is on Sunday, and consonant with the Alter Rebbe’s teaching that we must “live with the times,” meaning with the weekly parshah, there is a lesson to be learned from today’s daily portion of this week’s parshah — the first portion of Parshas Berachah. Since right now it is the beginning of the sixth day (i.e. Thursday night), the lesson is derived from the beginning words of the entire Par-shah: “V’zos Haberachah — This is the blessing.”

When the word “this” is employed in Scripture, it refers to something tangible, revealed, able to be pointed at with a finger. Thus the verse “This is the blessing which Moshe blessed...” refers to a blessing which is able to be pointed at with the physical finger. Such a blessing does not need deep thought and contemplation to be understood or seen, but is openly revealed. The lesson from this for Simchas Bais Hashoevah is that it must be celebrated openly. People passing by in the street should (not have to ask what is happening but can) be able to point with the finger and see that Jews are celebrating with fervent joy. Such a way of rejoicing affects even those passing by. Particularly when the singing and dancing is done with a joy that transcends all bounds, unheeding of and uncaring about any tiredness.

3. There is another point emphasized in today’s portion of the weekly parshah. On the verse (33:2) “The L‑rd came from Sinai, and rose from Seir to them; he shined forth from Mt. Paran...” Rashi comments that “He (Moshe) opens (his blessing) with praise of the Omnipresent, and then introduces the needs of Yisroel. In the praise with which he opened there is contained a mention of the merit of Yisroel.” For G‑d “offered (the Torah) to the children of Esav that they should accept the Torah, but they did not desire (to do so)... He offered (the Torah) to the children of Yishmael that they should accept it but they did not desire (to do so) .”

This verse emphasizes the greatness and merit of Jews compared to the other nations. Although there are other great nations, they cannot compare to the Jews, whose worth is infinitely greater. This is also the reason why G‑d first offered the Torah to the other nations even though he knew they would not accept — to demonstrate the greatness of Yisroel to the other nations. This special worth of the Jews is expressed especially on Sukkos, for then 70 bulls are offered corresponding to the 70 nations of the world. This effects the idea of “Praise the L‑rd, all you nations; extol Him, all you peoples” — non-Jews recognize the greatness of Jews “since His kindness was mighty over us,” — and therefore “Praise the L‑rd all you nations.”

G‑d’s offer of the Torah to the gentile nations to emphasize the greatness of the Jews corresponds to the dictum of the Rebbe Maharash quoted previously, that while the world says to ‘go over’ only when it is impossible to ‘go under’ he says to ‘go over’ in the first place. If this is a directive to Jews to always ‘go over,’ why even mention that the world says to go under? However, when a Jew is told that the world says to go under, and he must ‘go over in the first place,’ this causes his ‘going over’ to be on the highest level, knowing that this expresses his greatness compared to the entire world.

All of the above should not remain in only words, but should be translated into deed — “deed is the main thing.” We must celebrate Simchas Bais Hashoevah in an infinitely more joyous manner than the previous nights, and in such a way that one can point with a finger at the great joy — “This is the blessing.”

The continuation of today’s portion of the weekly parshah is “This is the blessing which Moshe... The Torah which Moshe commanded us in the inheritance of the congregation of Ya’akov.” The blessing of Moshe includes also the fact that the Torah is an inheritance to all Jews. Every Jew, even the smallest infant, inherits the entire Torah. This too is in the form of “This is the blessing:” that one can point with a finger to the tangible fact that he has received the Torah — since he comports himself according to the directives of the Torah given by Moshe Rabbeinu.