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Hallel: Succot Dancing

When we acquire something we move it – Kinyan – we lift the object we are acquiring or we pull the animal we are buying. We use movement to make something our own.


We find the laws of Kinyan – Acquisition – in the Halachot of the Four Species: We are permitted to pick up the Lulav with a silk scarf even though we are not directly holding the Lulav in our hand. However, we may not use tongs to pick up the Lulav, because, the Shela HaKodesh explains1, we must treat things we want to acquire with respect. We cannot truly acquire something if we treat it disrespectfully. The Lulav must belong to us in order to fulfill our obligation. We must make a respectful Kinyan. It is a way of declaring that the world is mine.

The Midrash2 uses the Mitzvot of Succot to relate the concept of Kinyan to cycles: “For You have weaned me with kindness3.” The Holy One, Blessed is He, said to Israel, “Give to Me from what is Mine, what I have already given you in the past, and I will give it to you in the World to Come. Pour water, which I have already given you through the Well of Miriam in the desert, on the Altar on Succot, and I will repay you in the World to Come, as it says, “And it shall be on that day that the mountains will drip with wine.”4

The Midrash is describing a cycle in which we give to God from that which He has given to us, and He will give more to us in the World to Come. We can actually acquire now what will be ours in the World to Come.

The Midrash continues: “Give Me a Lulav and dance with it to praise Me as I already had something dance for you, ‘The mountains skipped like rams.’5 I will repay you in the World to Come, as it says, ‘All the trees of the field will clap hands.’6” – We can use the Lulav to acquire something in the World to Come. – “Make a Succah for Me, as I made for you in the desert, “I caused the Children of Israel to dwell in booths when I took them from the land of Egypt,”7 and I will repay you in the World to Come, as it says, “And there will be a Succah as a shade from the heat in the daytime.”8 This is what the verse means when it says, “For You have weaned me with kindness9.” God gives to me so that I have enough to give to Him, so He will give to me…and the cycle continues.

The Lulav is a way to “acquire” all that I gained over Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. I take a physical thing and I acquire it and say, “This is mine!” It is also a way of saying, “I love what You have given to me. I want to give back to You.”

1 Shelah on Succah 37a

2 Midrash Tehillim 13

3 Psalms 13:6

4 Joel 4:18

5 Psalms 114:4

6 Isaiah 55:12 

7 Leviticus 23:43

8 Isaiah 4:6

9 Psalms 13:6

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