shall take for yourselves on the first day."
The Sages comment
on this: "Is it in fact the first day? Is it not the fifteenth
day [of the month]? Rather, it is the first regarding the reckoning
of transgressions." ( Midrash Tanchuma, Emor 22)
We can explain this
as follows: The People of Israel fully accepted the yoke of Heaven upon
themselves on Rosh Hashana, as they would recite the phrase "Holy
King" and "King of Judgment" [in the holiday liturgy].
The nations of the world, however, did not accept the yoke of Heaven
upon themselves over Rosh Hashana. It is the task of the People of Israel
to bring the glory of G-d's kingdom to all of creation, even to the
nations of the world, and the offering of the seventy bulls on the festival
of Sukkot is in order that the influx of G-d's kingdom flows to all
of the seventy nations.
This is alluded
to in the verse "You shall take for yourselves". The word
"for yourselves" [in Hebrew, "l'chem"] contains
the same letters as the Hebrew word for "king" ["melech"].
This means that you should accept the yoke of Heaven upon yourselves
"on the first day". This question of the Sages - "Is
it in fact the first day? Is it not the fifteenth day?" - should
be understood thus: Is it the first day of accepting the yoke of Heaven?
Is it not the fifteenth day following Rosh Hashana, when the People
of Israel accepted the yoke of Heaven upon themselves?
The answer of the
Sages is that regarding the People of Israel it is the fifteenth day,
but regarding the nations of the world it is the first day since they
did not accept the yoke of Heaven upon themselves on Rosh Hashana. The
meaning of the phrase "regarding the reckoning of transgressions"
is that it refers to the nations of the world for regarding Israel the
Blessed Holy One does not regard their transgressions because of His
great love for them.
This then is the
meaning of "You shall take for yourselves ["l'chem"]
on the first day...": You shall take the aspect of divine kingship
on the first day and bring its influx to all the seventy nations. Then
"G-d will be King over all the earth" (Zachariah 14:9).
May it happen speedily
in our days Amen.
From the translator:
Divine influx, the consciousness
and intensity of awareness of divine sovereignty, flows into the world
through the spiritual leaders of Israel to the People of Israel to the
nations of the world to all of Creation. The verse which speaks of taking
the four species on the first day alludes to bringing the awareness
of divine sovereignty to all of creation. It is called "the first
day" because this awareness is new for the nations of the world
- it is a "first" - for they did not experience it on Rosh
Interestingly, the idea of
bringing divine awareness to Creation is expressed as "taking for
yourselves". When one takes the four species for oneself and infuses
one's being with the awareness of the Divine, one actually becomes a
"no-self". When one brings the awareness of the Divine to
places that lie beyond one's habitual limits - that is a true taking
for oneself. What you have is what you give.
Reprinted with permission from http://www.geocities.com/ravjglass/avritchertorah.htm
Rabbi Jonathan Glass a descendent of the
Avritcher Rebbe's family, was ordained by Israel's Chief Rabbis