1. Tonight is the sixth night of Sukkos and the sixth time we have celebrated Simchas Bais Hashoeva. One might speculate as to what could be a reason for greater rejoicing in tonight’s celebration; for on each previous night a new reason was found to add to the joy of Simchas Bais Hashoeva. The reason for adding to the rejoicing of Simchas Bais Hashoeva tonight is obvious from the name of tonight’s Ushpizen — Yosef — which means to add. In the Chumash itself (Bereishis 30:24) Rochel, Yosef’s mother, used that name to allude to the phrase, “G‑d add another son to me.” Together with Yosef was born the promise that G‑d would add another son.

This concept of addition is closely related to Simchah, which breaks down all barriers. Furthermore, the very nature of Simchah is to join together with another, sharing one’s joy with “your son, your daughter, your servant,... and the stranger in your gates.” The Rambam explains that only then does one attain true joy.

This reason is particularly applicable in view of the Tzemach Tzedek’s interpretation of the above verse. The Hebrew word for “another son” is “Ben Acher.” This phrase can also be interpreted to mean that who is “Acher — foreign” is made into a “Ben — son,” leading to great joy; for a baal teshuvah reaches a higher level than a tzaddik. The service of a tzaddik can be compared to a king’s son who spends all of his days in his father’s palace carrying out his father’s will. Though the king derives pleasure from his son’s conduct, “constant pleasure is not pleasure,” — his is not true joy.

In contrast, the baal teshuvah can be compared to a king’s son who was sent into exile — an exile among different nations and tongues. The ways of the street, the public domain, become attached to him. Nevertheless, the task is to make from this “Acher” a son, to create a private domain — a domain for G‑d.

In order to carry out such service it is necessary for the one who carries out the task of refinement to lower himself to the level, to put on the clothes, of the object that must be refined. This principle even applies in regard to G‑d. Before the Messianic redemption, in the refinement of Edom,1 G‑d will “make impure His garments.” The Zohar (end Bechukosai) explains this concept with a metaphor of a bridegroom who, motivated by his great love for his bride, goes into a tanner’s market (an awful smelling place). In the time of exile, G‑dliness is not openly revealed, unlike the time of the Temple, when ten miracles were openly revealed and eyes of flesh were able to perceive G‑dliness. This brought about the recognition that even nature is a series of miracles. However, since the Temple has been destroyed, “We have not seen wonders.” G‑dliness has been covered up, enclothed within the garments of exile.

The same pattern applies to the service of the Jewish people, for “tzaddikim resemble their Creator,” and more particularly to the service of every Jew, as the Mishnah declares, “Your nation are all tzaddikim.”2 In order to merit their entry into Eretz Yisroel, the Jews had to experience a period of purification in Golus, a long period of Egyptian slavery followed by forty years of wandering in the desert. Similarly, every Jew’s soul comes down “from a high peak to a low pit,” into this physical world which can easily be likened to a desert. In this world, a soul descends into a body (albeit a holy body) for the sake of carrying out a mission — “making this world a dwelling place for G‑d.” The accomplishment of this task brings about great joy, as the Tanya declares, “One becomes a host for G‑d,” a status which will naturally generate feelings of happiness. Furthermore, even before one carries out his mission, the very fact that G‑d has chosen him3 for it and depends on him for it should generate happiness. And this happiness is multiplied when one sees success as did Yosef, the first Jew sent into Golus, when one sees that “everything he did, G‑d made successful;” one’s efforts have brought forth fruit. The Zohar declares “Each day carries out its service.” The very passage of a day generates the potential, if one so desires, to ensure that the mission be successfully carried out, thus generating joy. This is particularly true on Sukkos, the season of our rejoicing, when the mission itself is tied to generating happiness.4

Since today is the sixth day of Simchas Bais Hashoeva — a day connected with Yosef we can surely add to the joy we feel. This is particularly true according to the concept, explained by the previous Rebbe, that in addition to the Ushpizen mentioned by the Zohar, there are also the Chassidishe Ushpizen: the Besht, the Maggid, the Alter Rebbe, etc. The Ushpizen connected with the present day is the Rebbe Maharash.5 The saying most frequently connected with him is, “The world says one must try to crawl under and if one does not succeed, one should try to climb over. My first impulse is to climb over.” This approach, although relevant at all times, is particularly applicable to matters of Torah and mitzvos, and especially to matters connected with joy; for the entire thrust of joy is to go above one’s boundaries.

Thus, the influence of Yosef and the influence of the Rebbe Maharash complement each other. This concept must be communicated to all Jews, for now is the time of “spreading the wellsprings of Torah outward.” Thus, we fulfill the concept of “Yosef Hashem Li Ben Acher,” making of an “Acher” — someone who views Judaism as something foreign, who sits on the side while everyone else is dancing — a Ben, a son.

Even if the above explanation seems different from the normal P’shat, the simple meaning of Torah, the AriZal explained that for every Torah concept, there are 600,000 explanations in each of the areas of P’shat, Remez, Drush, and Sod. Despite their apparent differences, they are based on the same Torah concept and therefore are interrelated and united.

2. The principle of unity is also emphasized by Simchas Bais Hashoeva. On the surface, there were differences in participation in Simchas Bais Hashoeva. There were those who danced with torches of fire. And there were those who merely stood and watched.6 However, because there was an attitude of joy, all the particular details faded away. When people are happy, it does not matter whether one dances with more energy and another with less. The fact that they join together in an experience — “and you shall rejoice before the L‑rd, your G‑d” — unites them.

Even though we are living in Golus, even though we are outside Eretz Yisroel; and even if, while in the Diaspora, we are not in a synagogue or a house of study, we can make the street, the public domain, into a holy place. And of such a place G‑d declares: “I will dwell among you.” From the public domain, we can fashion a private domain7 for G‑d — the only entity in the world. This can be accomplished through the efforts of the holy nation, the Jews, whom G‑d has entrusted with a mission. Hence, they have the power of G‑d (note footnote 4) and can transform the darkness of the Diaspora into a holy place.

If the above is true in the Diaspora, it is certainly true in the land where “the eyes of the L‑rd your G‑d are upon it from the beginning of the year until the end of the year.” There, “in the light of the King’s face,” in His palace, there can be no sadness, but only glory and beauty; for according to Torah law, there must always be joy in the palace of a king. Since the King is there at all times — even though we have been exiled from our land8 — joy is essential. Despite the situation of exile, we must rejoice with a great and powerful celebration, following the example of King Dovid who “danced and leaped with all his might.” The potential is given for every Jew, even one who is young either in years or in his awareness of Yiddishkeit, to celebrate with great joy. This is particularly true now, since we have carried out the mitzvah of Simchas Bais Hashoeva in the five previous days.

Then, together with the men, women, and children we will become fused together as one entity — the lesson of Hakhel — and thus cause a strengthening of Torah and mitzvos. It will be clearly revealed and all Jews will clearly recognize that they belong to Tzivos Hashem — G‑d’s army. Whether a Jew consciously desires it or not, he has been mobilized into G‑d’s army. The Rambam writes that every Jew’s true desire, whether he knows it or not, is to serve G‑d.9 We must take every opportunity even to the point of forcing one to reveal his true will, thereby bringing the other person into G‑d’s army.

3. The concept of an army teaches a profound lesson. An army operates by the principle of “Na’aseh V’Nishmah,” the commitment to action preceding the listening. First, one must follow the command and only afterwards try to understand. G‑d wants us to study Torah, but the preliminary step must be the commitment to “do.” When this approach is taken, we will merit acceptance by G‑d into His army. Then, just as during the exodus from Egypt, the Jews will leave “with an upright arm” and “a multitude of nations will follow them.” Then, even in the times of exile, “all the children of Israel have light in their dwellings.” Even though the world is in a state of night (a metaphor for exile),10 we have G‑d’s promise of the true light — the light of Torah and the candle of mitzvos.

This is particularly true during Sukkos when “our eyes did not see sleep.” In general, even in exile, “I am sleeping but my heart is awake,” the Jews are excited about and motivated by all aspects of Torah and mitzvos. However, the influence of Sukkos brings about a state where just as “the guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps,” so too every Jew will continually be awake and then we will go dancing to greet Moshiach. We will all, men, women, and children, join in Tzivos Hashem, and march to meet Moshiach and proceed with him to our Holy Land in the complete and ultimate redemption, speedily in our days.