21st Century P’shat: 1-2 minute divrai Torah for each aliyah

Sukkot (first two days)/Pesach (second day)

  1. “On the same day it shall be eaten; ye shall leave none of it until the morning.” After this command there is a litany of emphasis on it. Why is it so important? If Kedusha is maximizing the conversion of spiritual potential into reality then it becomes clear. If you sacrifice an animal in Kedusha you maximize its potential. But if you waste its meat – if you let it rot – then that is a slap in its face. It is a waste of potential and that is unholy.
  2. We read in this read, “These are the appointed seasons of Hashem, you shall proclaim them to be holy proclamations.” Why repeat proclamation? Why is proclamation part of the definition of the day? Perhaps it is because the human element is critical. Hashem can have them as his seasons, but our proclamation in inherent to their importance. It is a meeting of the will of Hashem and of his people.
  3. As previously pointed out, why do converts need the corners of the fields and why mention it here? They aren’t necessarily poor and if they are, they can be counted in the poor group. I believe the reason is tied into the placement of this command with Shavuot. Shavuot is p’shat, a harvest festival. We give the poor and converts the corners of the fields to indicate that even though they aren’t inheritors/owners of land, they are still a part of this festival. They own the corners.
  4. Yom Kippur is a day of impoverishing the soul. We can compare the Sukkah to a Chuppah (wedding canopy) for our marriage to Hashem. Sukkot is a renewal of an old relationship. In this context, the soul impoverishment of Yom Kippur could be likened to love sickness. We insure that our hearts yearn for Hashem so that our remarriage will truly be one of joy.
  5. Only the native born are commanded to live in Sukkot. Why? On Sukkot, you take yourself out of your normal roof and settle for the risk and challenge of living under Hashem’s canopy. But a convert doesn’t need to do this. His very act of conversion is a lifelong act of Sukkot. He has given up his normal roof for a marriage to Hashem and his people.