The Well of Love

Written by Rabbi Yehoshua Alt, 9/10/2019

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The Well of Love

We know that Succos corresponds to theענני כבוד[1], clouds of glory. The Mabit[2] (1500-1580) asks why is there only a Yom Tov for theענני כבוד  and not for theמן  or the באר, well of water, as these were also in the desert at that time? 

 

                There is that which is expected of us and that which is above expectations. It is expected that a mother provides shelter for her child.  However, when she buys ice cream and adds the sprinkles her child enjoys, that is above what is expected. This demonstrates the mother's love for the child.[3] It is the unnecessary details that are done that show love.

 

                With this we can answer our question. In the desert, theבאר  and theמן  were necessities since we can’t live without food or drink. Theענני כבוד , however, was an unnecessary detail. This showed Hashem’s love for us. For this reason, we have a Yom Tov—Succos—only for the ענני כבוד.

Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.


[1] Vayikra 23:43, Rashi. Succa 11b.

[2] Beis Elokim, Shaar Hayesodos, chapter 37, s.v. וראוי. At the age of 18, the Mabit moved to Tzfas and studied under R’ Yaakov Beirav. In 1525, he was appointed as a judge in the local Beis Din, a position he held for 54 years. After the passing of R’ Yosef Karo, the Mabit served as the sole head of the Tzfas Beis Din for five years.

[3] This helps us understand why Halacha is so detail-oriented—the way to tie our shoes, time for קריאת שמע and so forth—as it shows our love for Hashem.


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