As the festival of Sukkot approaches, let us remember the beautiful teaching regarding the essence of this festival.
The Torah teaches, “And you should take for yourselves on the first day (of Sukkot) the fruit from the Hadar tree (Etrog), date palms (a palm branch), a branch of a braided tree (three myrtles), and willows of the brook (two branches from the willow tree), and you should rejoice before Hashem your God” (Leviticus 23:40).
From Elul – to Sukkot
Having gone through preparations for an entire month (Elul) before Rosh HaShanah, thereafter ten days of repentance, culminating in Yom Kippur, we prepare for the next festival of the Year – Sukkot! Most feel exhausted. In fact, many times we feel exhausted even when we are not observing all these Mitzvot! However, the Torah teaches us differently. When we perform Mitzvot, we do so with joy! This is what God wants from us. It is not just the external waving and movement in our Mitzvot that count. It is the internal Simchah (happiness) which God asks from us. That in itself is a Mitzvah. It is as much a part of the Mitzvah as every other part!
It is known that the holy Arizal – Rabbi Yitzchak Luria (1534-1572) stated that is was only because he served God with joy that he attained his lofty levels of holiness and closeness to God. This is our lesson!
In this video Gutman Locks shares with us something about this happiness, showing us the difference that happiness makes (even externally) when a Mitzvah is performed with joy! We can be certain – that as the Sefer HaChinuch and other holy books teach, when we perform Mitzvot with joy externally, that this will affect us internally too!