(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Torah Forum (c) Project Genesis

Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 23:39:05 -0400 (EDT)
From: Russell Hendel <  rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu>
Subject: Re: Sukkoth And Teshuva

Michael Fleischhacker in Volume 4 Number 93 asks:
<  <  I basically understand the connection between Sukkoth and the Teshuva
process that begins with Rosh Hashanah in that Sukkoth marks the occasion
when the Jews achieved Teshuva for the sin of the Golden Calf.  But I am
unclear as to the Torah source.  Can you clarify this for me?>  >

This is exquisitely answered by Rav Kook in his insightful book THE LIGHTS
OF REPENTANCE with several beautiful analogies.

ANALOGY ONE: A patient has a tumor. He first undergoes surgery which
involves the painful removal of the tumor. But then he undergoes physical
therapy to rehabilitate and reacquire normal body function.

So too, when we have sin we must undergo the "fast surgery" of Yom Kippur
to remove our sin. But then we undergo spiritual therapy to rehabilitate
and reacquire normal psychic function. The climax of this spiritual therapy
happens on Simchat Torah.

ANALOGY TWO: A builder firsts builds the basement and only then the first
floor. So too, we must go beneath our surface and repent on Yom Kippur. But
once we have this foundation we can "come outside" and build in the world.
The climax of this new "building" is on Simchat Torah.

In conclusion, just as surgery and exercise are two opposites on the same
spectrum so too are repentance and Torah ecstasy two opposites on the
spectrum of spiritual relationship with G-d. Seen in this light living in
the "open succah" with G-d's protection and Simchat Torah are climaxes to
the repentance season begun with Rosh Hashana.

Russell Hendel; Phd ASA
Moderator Rashi Is Simple; http://www.shamash.org/rashi