Succot Lecture Part Eight: Beginnings
Where else do we have this concept of going back to the moment of creation of the human being? There is one other place. Where else in our regular service of Hashem do we have a physical acting out of the formation of a human being? – on the Mizbei’ach.
Because when the passuk at the end of Yitro says that the Mizbei’ach must be adama, earth. But we know it wasn’t made of earth, it was made out of copper. What was in the center of the Mizbei’ach? What was in the center, every time they camped, what did they put there? Earth. And which earth did they put in the center of the altar? – the same earth from the same place where the primal human being’s body was formed.
And the Mizbei’ach places a substantial role in Succotalso, because what do we do all of Succot? We do something extra on the Mizbei’ach that we don’t do the rest of the year. We pour water.
Why do we pour water on top of the earth that’s inside of the Mizbei’ach, what are we doing when are pouring water, a mist, on top of that earth in the Mizbei’ach. We are acting out the recreation of the formation of the primal human being. This is what we are doing on Succot when we pour the water.
This is why every sacrifice we offer has to be on top of the Mizbei’ach because we are going back to the very beginning, the first moments of our existence as human beings and saying that I hope to achieve an atonement and purification with this sacrifice that will bring me back to the first moment of the formation of the human being, free of any sin. Free of a yetzer harah that is internal. And right back to that moment, right before Adam and Chava are placed, or Adam is placed for this first time, into the garden that was in Eden. So this is something else that we are doing on the Mizbei’ach.