Climbing the Mountain

However the disclosure at Sinai didn’t occur in a vacuum. It was gone before by 26 ages of human undertaking, 26 ages in which man refined and consummated his limited self in anticipation of the experience with G-d at Sinai.

Accordingly, when G-d plummeted to earth to penetrate the wilderness that isolated the supernal from the earthbound, He didn’t come down to the Israelite camp at the foot of Mount Sinai, just to the mountain’s culmination. abrahamstent One may ask: if G-d had come right from the endless there to visit our limited earth, might He be able to not have slid another couple of thousand feet, rather than disturbing the 80-year-old Moses to move to the head of the mountain? Be that as it may, this communicates the terms on which G-d made Himself available to us at Sinai. To begin with, said G-d, I need you to accomplish the best statures of which you are proficient; first, I need you to build up your own capability to its most extreme; at that point, I will meet you at the culmination of human accomplishment and free you from its limits.

In that lies the essentialness of Abraham’s sukkah tree and its relationship to our post-Sinai sechach-secured sukkah. Prior to Sinai, a mitzvah could, probably, be a tree; its branches arriving at skyward—maybe even to incredible statures—yet established in and fed by the earth. Man could create and refine himself, yet couldn’t rise above his earthbound establishments. In any case, after Sinai, our sukkot can, and should, be made with branches cut liberated from their natural roots. After Sinai, a mitzvah must involve a takeoff from the just human and ascend to a self-rising above bond with G-d.

Simultaneously, it was Abraham’s sukkah that was the reason for our accepting the endowment of sukkah from G-d—similarly as the branches that spread our sukkot should initially grow from the earth and develop and create in their earth-bound state. First we should build up our own, human resources—our restricted comprehension, our abstract sentiments, our human accomplishments—before these can be “cut free” from their natural moorings to fill in as evident vehicles of association with G-d.

In view of a section in the Rebbe’s diary, dated Sukkot 5702 (1941),[18] and his discussions on different events.

Adjusted from the lessons of the Lubavitcher Rebbe by Yanki Tauber

[1]. The sukkah, by definition, is a “transitory dwelling” (dirat arai); in the event that it is underlying a way that suggests changelessness (e.g., high dividers, a water-confirmation rooftop) it is precluded (Talmud, Sukkah 2a).

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