More Shade Than Light

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: You said that a holiday hut, a Sukkah, symbolizes the soul of a person. How can one understand this?

Answer: A person sitting in a Sukkah symbolizes a desire. The measurements of the Sukkah symbolize the qualities of the human soul, and its roof symbolizes a Masach (screen).

That is, I don’t want to receive Light for my own pleasure, so there must be more shade than light in a Sukkah. This symbolizes my readiness to be satisfied with the minimum necessities, with everything else being for bestowal.

This is like the level of the Tzadik (Righteous), bestowal for the sake of bestowal. First of all, it is necessary to reach this to attain a beginning of resemblance and equivalence to the Creator. There are a few stages of approach to the Creator, and this is the initial stage.

The soul is our desire to receive, to enjoy, that is organized in a form like this by the right environment, the integration of forces, of preparation, as if it were found within a Sukkah. Certainly, this is not talking about a material Sukkah, but about such an integration of my desires within the environment that makes it possible for me to correct them gradually for the good of others.

On every day of the Sukkot holiday, we receive a new Light, with whose help we scrutinize our desires and correct them. The illumination that reaches us is called Ushpizin (guests). We receive honored guests in our Sukkah in this order: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph, and David. They are seven Lights, each of them correcting in us a particular part of the soul: Hesed (the characteristic of Abraham), Gevura, Tifferet, Netzach, Hod, Yesod and Malchut.

So, during the entire holiday of Sukkot, we correct ourselves by arranging festive meals for the Ushpizin. It is customary to eat and to drink only in a Sukkah because only there is it possible to make a correction.

During Sukkot we make blessings with four symbols: Lulav (palm), Etrog (citron), myrtle, and willow. Their form is similar to the innate characteristics of the four parts of the human soul—Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin, and Malchut—that together, comprise a complete HaVaYaH.

So, there is a tradition to choose the Etrog carefully so that there will not be any defects in it, for it symbolizes Malchut, the foundation of creation, the foundation of the soul. All of these symbols must be connected together, and then it is possible to bless, meaning attract the Light.

From the side, this process can seem like some kind of idolatrous ceremony. The person shakes the symbolic branches that are gathered together a few times, moving them in all the directions of the Light: right, left, middle, above, below, forward, and backward. However, if we read the explanation of the Ari in the book, Shaar HaMitzvot, it then will be clear that lofty spiritual activities are concealed behind this.

In fact, a person must carry them out within himself. The external actions are only a tradition, whereas the main thing is that agitation that he performs within his soul, correcting it. The correction of the soul is the purpose of a person’s life.

During each one of the seven days of Sukkot, it is necessary to carry out internal activities like these in a Sukkah that is built inside of us by attracting Ohr Makif there. If we arrange all of the parts of the soul to resemble the four symbols of Sukkot and we know how to bless them in all the directions of our desire—right and left, with bestowal and with reception—then, at the end of the Sukkot holiday, we reach the holiday of Simchat Torah.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 10/02/14

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A Dwelling That Corresponds To The Structure Of The Soul
Under A Temporary Shade
The Days Of Spiritual Ascent

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