Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 53 - Hillel's Declaration

Hillel declared his famous words by the Simchas bais Hashoeva, “If I am here, then everyone is here, and if I am not here, then nobody is here.” The commentators wonder about this declaration, as it appears that Hillel was speaking haughtily, something which certainly was not consistent with the humble character of Hillel? I once heard a possible explanation that Hillel was declaring that if the ‘ani’ of a person is involved in performing a mitzvah, then the mitzvah can be performed properly. One can discharge his obligation for a mitzvah by just going through the motions and performing the mitzvah without feeling and heart. Such a performance, however, pales in comparison to the one who performs the mitzvah with devotion and enthusiasm. This can explain the Gemara that we learned earlier that states that the lulavim would be passed on from father to son by way of inheritance. Should not the lulav be invalidated because it was most likely dried out? The Chasidishe sefarim answer that the word lulav is an acrostic for the words ‘lo lev’, i.e. to him there was heart. The greatest inheritance a father can bequeath to his son is the proper method in observing mitzvos. When a father performs a mitzvah with zeal and spirit, the children are naturally inspired and they will continue in their father’s path.

3 comments:

Barry said...

I thought Ben had the chasidesh twinge to him - not you?

Avromi said...

He does - but so do I - there are differences and similarities.

ben said...

Avromi writes "the chasidishe sefarim" and I write "the sefarim."