Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 11 - Clouds of Glory for atonement

The Gemara cites a dispute between Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Elazar regarding the explanation of the verse that states so that your generations will know that I caused the Children of Israel to dwell in Sukkos when I took them from the land of Egypt. Which Sukkos is the Torah referring to? Rabbi Akiva maintains that the verse refers to the booths that Hashem made for the Jewish People when they were sojourning in the Wilderness. Rabbi Elazar, however, maintains that the verse refers to the Clouds of Glory that encompassed the Jewish People in the Wilderness. It is noteworthy that Rashi in his commentary on Chumash and in his commentary earlier on Daf 2 only quotes the opinion of Rabbi Elazar who maintains that the festival of Sukkos is to commemorate the Clouds of Glory. The Gemara in Ta’anis 9a states that HaShem performed three miracles for the Jewish People in the Wilderness. Hashem provided the Jewish People with a traveling well of water that was in the merit of Miriam. The Jewish People were further provided with manna that fell from heaven and sustained them and the manna was in the merit of Moshe. The Clouds of Glory that protected the Jewish People were in the merit of Aharon. The commentators wonder why there is only a festival commemorating the miracle of the Clouds of Glory while there is no festival that commemorates the miracles of the traveling well and the falling of the manna from heaven. The Vilna Gaon and Reb Tzadok HaKohen from Lublin in Pri Tzaddik posit that in truth, we are not commemorating any of the above-mentioned miracles. Rather, the explanation is that following the sin of the Golden Calf, Hashem removed the Clouds of Glory that were protecting the Jewish People and only after Moshe gained atonement for the Jewish People on Yom Kippur did the Clouds of Glory return. Nonetheless, the Clouds of Glory did not actually return until the fifteenth of Tishrei when the Jewish People commenced the construction of the Mishkan, the edifice that reflected their atonement. Thus, the festival of Sukkos is not necessarily a commemoration of the Clouds of Glory. Rather, the festival of Sukkos commemorates the return of the Clouds of Glory and the atonement that the Jewish People received on Yom Kippur.

[This post will be continued iy"H.]


Big Moish said...

Isn't Yom Kippur the day we commemorate the forgiveness of the golden calf?

Avromi said...

I believe Rav Solomon talks about the waiting period in between and the answer has something to do with the fact that now with the building of the mishkan we can celebrate and publicize the fact that we were victorious and we received forgiveness and that is the concept of walking with the lulav similar to flags after a war.

anon1 said...

Just to note - the girsa in the gemara is R'Eliezer -- which is significant because we typically do not pasken like him (either because he was in cherem or because he was from Beis Shammai). Also, it is keneged R'Akiva and we generally pasken like R'Akiva against one other tanna. Ve-yesh le-yashev -- I think tied to your question but ein kan mekomo.

See also the Bnai Yisaschar who quotes and offers several terutzim to this question.

Avromi said...

You are right - I originally had it the correct way and then switched it. As it happens, the Toras Kohanim has the girso Reb Elozar who was a talmid of Rebbe Akiva. Also, there Rebbe Akiva's opinion is reversed. Yasherkoach.