Laughing In My Succah
Taking my children when they were young on a trip. Finding the perfect gift for my wife. My grandfather’s face when I received my first s’micha – Rabbinic Ordination. Receiving a call from my Rebbi, HaRav Yochanan Zweig, telling me that my father called him to tell him how excited my father was with a lecture I gave. The faces of my wife and children when they saw me walk again.
All of the memories listed are of making someone else happy, and all are counted among my highest moments of joy.
I spoke with someone just before Yom Kippur who literally transformed herself into a new person. She did not change her actions as much as she changed her inner essence. She became a greater human being. It was easy to imagine that she is someone who made God very happy that He created her.
The Zohar teaches that such will be the joy in the World to Come: Rabbi Yehuda said: At that time, in the World to Come, the Holy One, Blessed is He, will make His world happy and will be happy with His creations, as it says, “God will be happy with the things He made,” (Psalms 104:31) And then there will be laughter in the world, unlike now, as the verse says, “Then, our mouths will be filled with laughter.”(Psalms 126:2) This is why Sarah said; “God has made laughter for me.” (Genesis 21:6), for then the world will sing a Song to God, for it is a time of laughter. Rabbi Abba said, ‘The day on which God will rejoice with his handiwork will be unlike any other day since the beginning of creation, and the righteous who remain in Jerusalem will never turn to dust.’ (Zohar, Volume 1, 114a-b)
Such is the joy of Succot – Z’man Simchateinu – The Time of Our Happiness: We are happy with the confidence that we had a successful Yom Kippur. We are even happier that we were able to make God happy with us. We grew. We changed. We were absolutely clear that deep down we want a relationship with our Creator.
Our time in the Succah is a taste of the World to Come, when we will laugh with God over the infinite possibilities of life.
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