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Published by: outdash2 on May 14, 2010
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Yom Kippur 5766
Every motza\u2019ei Yom Kippur, a bat kol announces, \u201cGo eat your bread with joy and drink your wine
with a merry heart, for the L-rd has already accepted your deeds\u201d (Kohellet 9:7).Chazal explain in
Midrash Rabbahon Kohellet that this bat kol comes to inform us that HaKadosh Baruch Huhas
forgiven all of our previously-committedaveiros and that a newcheshbon begins from this point,
motza\u2019ei Yom Kippur. \u201cGo eat your bread,\u201d says the bat kol, \u201cfor your prayers have already been
accepted.\u201d From thismidrash, we see that the y\u2019mei hadin (days of judgment) end on motza\u2019ei Yom
Kippur.
On the other hand, we know that y\u2019mei hadin end on Hoshana Rabbah, a day on which more time is
spent in prayer and some stay awake all night. This leads us to ask our first question: When do the
y\u2019mei hadin really end? At first glance we seem to be faced with a contradiction in the words of
Chazal \u2013 first they tell us that the y\u2019mei hadin end on motza\u2019ei Yom Kippur, and then they tell us that
the y\u2019mei hadin in fact end on Hoshana Rabbah.
InNechemia (8:17),Nechemia tells us that when the b\u2019nei hagolah returned to Eretz Yisrael they built
sukkot, \u201cwhich they had not done since the days of Yehoshua bin Nun.\u201d The gemarain Erchin
challenges this, wondering if it is really possible that they had not builtsukkot since the time of
Yehoshua bin Nun. Certainly in the time of David HaMelech, for instance, B\u2019nei Yisraelbuilt sukkot!
Rather, what thepassuk means is that the b\u2019nei hagolah had protection from the yetzer hara ofavodah
zarah; Ezra, like none before him, requested thebittul (nullification) of this yetzer hara, which the
passuk likens to the protection of a sukkah. This leads us to our second question: How does a sukkah
represent thebittul of the yetzer hara of avodah zarah?

In order to understand the answers to these questions, as well as their application to us, we must ask a third question: The first time we find asukkah in the Torah is in Parashat VaYishlach. AfterYaakov andEisav go their separate ways, the Torah tells us thatYaakov builtsukkot for his livestock, and that he subsequently named that areaSukkot. Later in the Torah, in Parashat Massei, the Torah mentions

Sukkot again, telling us that B\u2019nei Yisrael made camp in Sukkot after leaving Ra\u2019amses. The Torah is
eternal, its words bearing infinite meaning for all the generations; why is it so important that we be
informed nowadays ofYaakov\u2019s, and later B\u2019nei Yisrael\u2019s, encampment inSukkot?
Thegemara inBerachot (4b) teaches that we must juxtaposegeulah andtefillah. Thegemara
challenges this ruling based on the fact that inMa\u2019ariv we sayHashkiveinu between thebracha of
ga\u2019al Yisrael and the Shemoneh Esreh, interrupting between geulahand tefillah, and answers that the
brachaof Hashkiveinu is considered a geulah arichta, an extension of geulah. What we are to

understand from this answer is that everygeulah, personal or communal, is destined to collapse if the beneficiaries don\u2019t requestshemirah for that geulah. Hashkiveinu is a geulah arichta \u2013 the shemirahof \u201cshomer amo yisrael\u201d is essential for the preservation of thegeulah of \u201cga\u2019al Yisrael.\u201d

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