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Home » Simchat Torah, Sukkot

Sukkot/Simchat Torah: Pyramids of Unity

Submitted by on November 2, 2005 – 3:50 amNo Comment | 3,094 views

The Holiday Mitzvot

There are two Mitzvt that are specifically intended for the holiday of Sukkot, eating in the Sukkah (outdoor hut covered with S’chach, tree branches) and the blessing over the four species. The mitzvah designated for the holiday of Simchat Torah is the dancing and rejoicing of young and old with the sacred and precious Torah scrolls.

Our sages taught that these holidays represent the concept of Jewish unity on three different levels. The Sukkah represents the entire congregation joining under one roof in the performance of a Mitzvah. The four species are symbolic of the four different types of Jewish people; the studious, the observant ones, those who are both and those who are neither. In this Mitzvah these diverse groups come together and unite under the common banner of Judaism.

The dancing on Simchat Torah brings together young the old, scholar and layman. It could have been a celebration for scholars and students of Torah yet it has been given to the entire community. This represents the idea that regardless of stature, background or level of affiliation we are all brothers and sisters with equal rights to the Torah, our common heritage.

Two Forms of Unity

Unity can be perceived from several different angles. Firstly there is unity through uniformity, pyramids of unity - innerstreamwhen all elements are matched there is no reason for discord and unity is achieved. While this is a wonderful form of unity, if it were subjected to challenge there is no telling if it would persevere.

The next level of unity is the cohesion of diversity. That is to say, the bringing of diverse elements together (people with conflicting opinions, groups with differing perspectives) and allowing them to reach a level of understanding. They look for a common denominator, a level of comfort, and as a result learn to co-exist.

This will not be a calm and peaceful unity, on the contrary it will constantly be challenged. These two groups must carefully guard their steps and concentrate completely on their unifying factor, their areas of common interest. The moment they digress and discuss an issue of controversy their intrinsic differences are liable to cause discord.

However, in contrast to the unity discussed above, this unity has been challenged and has emerged unscathed and healthy. While the first level is pure and untarnished this unity is reliable and effective.

The question arises, is there a level of unity that inherently combines both of the advantages discussed above without adopting their problems and weaknesses? The answer is a strong and resounding yes, for this unity exists only amongst Jews.

The first unity discussed above is analogous to the unity of Sukkot in which we all unite under one roof regardless of our background and affiliation. The second unity is analogous of the four species in which four diverse elements find cohesiveness through their common Mitzvah. The third and ultimate level can be found in the holiday of Simchat Torah, which together with Sukkot form pyramids of unity.

The Third and Ultimate Unity

This ultimate unity can only be found when opposing camps unknowingly share the same origin and work towards the same objective, each in their own ways. We, the Jewish people, share the same father in heaven and possess the same soul. Even when we argue, we remain connected, we never become antagonists on the level of the soul.

On Simchat Torah our true color emerges and our uniformity comes to light. Some Jews enjoy the study of Torah and some don’t, some Jews enjoy observance of the Mitzvot and some don’t. But all Jews are connected to the essence of the Torah and dance with it together. For the Zohar teaches that the essence of the Torah is G-d and the essence of G-d can be found in the soul of every Jew.

May we all merit to dance with the Torah on this holiday, may we merit to truly enjoy the passion and spirit of our tradition, may we merit true Jewish unity with the coming of Moshiach speedily in our days, Amen.