Oroh V'Simchoh

Meshech Chochmoh
on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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The Mabi"t in Beis Elokim asks why we have a sukoh as a remembrance for the clouds of glory which surrounded the bnei Yisroel in the desert and no remembrance for the miraculous manna and the wellspring of Miriam. Taamei Haminhogim #789 in the name of the Bnei Yisos'chor says that the special Yom Tov foods and drinks serve that purpose. The sefer Dvorim Nechmodim says that since the wellspring of Miriam gave forth water which could have the taste of any beverage and the manna had the taste of almost any food, it would be impossible to make a proper remembrance.

However the GR"A says that the question is resolved through a completely different understanding of what the remembrance of the clouds of glory means. The GR"A asks if the sukoh is a remembrance of the clouds of glory, then the mitzvoh should take place in the month of Nison since that is when the clouds of glory began to encompass the bnei Yisroel. The GR"A answers that the clouds of glory left when the bnei Yisroel sinned with the golden calf. They did not return until Hashem forgave them and they had begun to build the Mishkon. The announcement for the collection took place on the day after Yom Kippur and the collection lasted through the fourteenth of Tishrei. The work began the next day, on the first day of Sukos. Although the building of the Mishkon (or the Beis Hamikdosh) does not push aside the sanctity of Shabbos or Yom Tov, they began with limited work that was not a Torah level transgression (See footnote in P'ninim Mishulchan haGR"A.). On that day the clouds of glory returned, a visible sign of Hashem's forgiving the bnei Yisroel. It is this return of the clouds of glory, indicating Hashem's accepting our repentance, which we commemorate with the sukoh. Hence we do not commemorate the miracles which took place in the desert, and the question raised by the Mabi"t is answered.

The MESHECH CHOCHMOH says that according to the GR"A it is most understandable why the Torah does not call this Yom Tov "Sukos" until parshas Emor, after the return of the clouds of glory. In parshios Mishpotim (23:16) and Ki Siso (34:22) it is called "chag ho'osif."


Ch. 16, v. 11: "Asher B'kirbecho" - You should gladden the heart of the orphan, widow and convert IN YOUR MIDST. This refers to the Yom Tov of Shovuos. In v. 14 of this chapter, which discusses the Yom Tov of Succos, the same idea is expressed, but the verse ends with the word, "B'sh'orecho," WHO ARE IN YOUR GATE. Why the change? The MESHECH CHOCHMOH answers that in the first verse, referring to Sh'vuos, the orphan, widow and convert are not in their homes, but are out in the fields, collecting Lekket, Shikchah and Pei'ah, hence, the term "in your midst." During the Yom Tov of Sukkos, however, when everything has already been collected, the above mentioned people are no longer out in the fields, but rather are also at home within the GATES of the city.


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