DEDICATED IN LOVING MEMORY OF ISAAC GAMEL ז''ל BY HIS FAMILY

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Length: 56 minutes
Succos is a special holiday of simcha, as it is the completion of the cycle of the shalosh regalim and the Yamim Noraim. There are two mitzvos related to Succos that are halachos l’Moshe MiSinai, aspects of the Torah that cannot be explained or extrapolated from the text. Although most areas of Torah are for us to explore and derive, this area is to be taken just as it is, directly from Hashem. On the Yom Tov of Succos, we celebrate the ways that we were protected in the midbar, completely protected and supported by Hashem. No matter what human effort we put forth, we recognize that at the end of the day, it is all dependent on Hashem.
Length: 29 minutes
Succos is the completion of the Shalosh Regalim and the Yomim Noraim. We commemorate the ananei hakavod (clouds of glory) which were returned to us after the teshuva of the original Yom Kippur. On Yom Kippur, we repeat Hashem’s 13 Attributes of Mercy many times, saying that He is kind and merciful to all of His creatures. However, on Succos we celebrate that we are the ones specifically connected to Hashem, and we reaffirm our bris with Him through teshuva, followed by succah.
Length: 45 minutes
We continue our discussion about derishah, seeking and searching for connection to Hashem the truth. Although it seems like there are many barriers to find anything G-dly, we learn in Parshas Nitzavim that the good is really inside of us. We have a guarantee that the Jewish people will return and do teshuva, we only have to uncover the good that is already within us. We pray that Hashem should give us the ability to recognize the truth in our hearts, to return and serve Him properly.
Length: 54 minutes
In the third aliyah of Parshas Nitzavim, we learn about how the community is responsible for the thoughts and actions of the individual. When we entered into Eretz Yisroel, there was a new kind of communal responsibility that we accepted upon ourselves. On Rosh Hashana, we daven that the whole world should come together to serve Hashem. We recognize that one person’s failing matter to the entire community, and accept the new level of mutual connection.
Length: 46 minutes
Although Rosh Hashana is the first of the Aseres Yemei Teshuva, we don’t ask for forgiveness in the tefillos of the day. We don’t either focus on the aspect of judgement-rather, we focus on recognizing Hashem as the ruler of the entire universe, with the prayer that the entire world will understand this. Before Rosh Hashana, it is important for us to define our mission statement and make sure that what we do matches up with those goals. When we align our mission to Hashem’s mission for the world, we can ask for another year of life, and ask forgiveness for the sins that we did which do not match up with our real mission and purpose.
In his sefer Nesiv Hateshuva, the Maharal explains how teshuva is able to work, focusing on the richness of Chazal’s expressions. There are 3 core principles that the Maharal uses to explain teshuva, and each one plays a prominent role in our avodah (service) on Yom Kippur. We explore these three ideas: the need to think before we act, the importance of connecting to Hashem and coming closer to Him through our teshuva, and understanding who we really are at the core.
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