Weekly Cycle

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Week 3 (Book 3): Making a Habitation for G-d and Beautifying Him, "Giving Ear" and Receiving the Divine Spirit, Enosh and Sukkoth

SONG OF THE SEA: this is my G-d, and I will make Him a habitation, the G-d of my father, and I will ascribe to Him exaltation.

Hear, O kings, give ear, O princes;
I, to the Lord I shall sing,

TALMUD SOTAH: Daf 3 - Receiving a Divine Spirit.


JOURNEYS IN THE DESERT: They journeyed from Succoth and camped in Etham, at the edge of the desert.

The third week is that of Sukkot. The verses of the Song of the Sea are about making a home to honor Hashem, and the Sukkah is such a home. Also, the principle of Zeh Keili v’Anvehu is one of the main themes of Sukkot –having a nice Etrog; a nice Lulav.

The Haftorah verses are about hearing. Sukkot is connected to the ear. (See Books 1 and 2) Anochi is repeated twice. This is a reference to the great revelation that takes place under the Sukkah, comparable to receiving the Torah anew. (Rashi on Judges 5:3) (See Book 2, Week 36) We are pardoned from our sins (the Torah was given a second time onYom Kippur) and feel so happy that we sing.

Similarly, Daf Gimmel (Folio 3) of Sotah, discusses how a Divine spirit (“Ruach”) enters a person. Sukkot was known for the time in which people received Ruach HaKodesh.
Enosh is also a term to refer to all mankind, and in Sukkot we pray on behalf of the entire world.

In the third week, the Jews journey from Succoth and camped in Etham, at the edge of the desert. The personal journey for this week is to internalize the concept of Hashem as our protector, and now focus on being on the “edge of the desert.” We have to make the most of our time engrossed in receiving Hashem’s blessings, so that when we go out into civilization, we can influence it properly. Etham can also denote a fortress (which is similar to a Sukkah):

Etam, in ancient Egyptian, means “seashore.” Some identify Etham with the Egyptian Chetem, which denotes a fortress. After early childhood, when we are completely dependent on parents for sustenance and protection, we begin to emerge from the “fortress” as we start to develop a sense of independence. This stage is comparable to a “seashore,” a boundary between exploring the new world around us and scurrying back for approval and guidance from our parents. At this phase in our lives we are not yet quite thrown into the desert, yet we are its edge, as we become acquainted with an alien and insensitive world. (http://meaningfullife.com/oped/2008/06.13.08$BehaalotchoCOLON_42_Journeys_Part_1.php)

An important lesson we learn from Enosh in our approach to prayer and Divine service is understanding our weaknesses and what requires improvement. The Hayom Yom for the 4th of Elul states as follows:

In describing the unique qualities of humankind, four terms are used:
·        Adam refers to the quality of mind and intellect;
·        Ish to the quality of heart and emotion;
·        Enosh, weakness in either intellect or emotion or both;
·        Gever, who overcomes inner weakness and removes obstacles and hindrances to the attainment of an intellectual or emotional quality.I.e. Gever works upon Enosh to elevate him to the plane of Ish or Adam.
Since it is possible to turn Enosh into Ish or Adam, it is obvious that Enosh already possesses the qualities found in Ish and Adam.

As also alluded to in the Hayom Yom, we must believe with complete faith that we can improve. As Rebbe Nachman would say, if you believe you can break, believe that you can fix.

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