How Eli and Peyton Manning Helped Build the Succah
Time to exhale! Though your davening was weak, your tshuva less than heartfelt, and your loshoin horo off the charts mamish, seemingly the RBSO has decided to give you yet another pass, lucky b_____s that you are. Don’t take that as a license to go out and start a brand new slate of avayrois; the RBSO is zicher watching and has you on a short leash.
Geloibt der abishter (thank the RBSO), Yom Kippur is behind, our slates are seemingly clean and soon, you’ll find out just how clean. It’s time to get ready to celebrate the very joyous Yom Tov of Sukkis during which we sit for either seven or eight days in our mostly made in China sukkois and it’s also the holiday where we Yiddin celebrate Christmas in October by hanging mostly designed for goyishe holiday decorations, tinsel, colorful lights and other zachin, mostly avada also made in Hong Kong or in China in our huts to help fulfill a mitzvah from the heylige Toirah where the RBSO told us to dwell in a sukkoh (hut) for seven days. Avada, if it’s your minhag (custom) to sit eight and your chaver only seven, you look at him with disgust and likely won’t ever let your kids marry his. Then again, if he’s a multi-millionaire and he invites you over, it’s understood that you’ll eat indoors and enjoy every minute of it. Azoy geyt di velt (that’s life). Shoin, we won’t be mearich (expound) on this 7 vs. 8 days machloikes (dispute) as we covered this topic a few years back. Veyter.
This great and happy Yom Tov all started out with one commandment. “You shall sit in Sukkot for seven days; all citizens of Israel will sit in Sukkot. In order that your generations shall know that I enabled the children of Israel to dwell in Sukkot when I brought them out of Egypt, I am the L-rd your God” (Vayikra 23:42-43.) Of course the Yiddin had no idea what all this meant, but many centuries later, when the codifiers of the heylige Mishna and Gemora sat down to argue over pretty much everything, they also codified an entire Tractate of Gemora which they aptly named Sukkoh and in which they discuss every minute detail of its observance. From architecture to interior design, all can avada be found in the Gemora where we also learn about its height limitations and of course the role that decorations play.
Leave it up to the early entrepreneurs to figure out what all this really meant: big business! How many times has the Oisvorfer told you how great the RBSO was and is? Not just did He give the Yiddin mitzvois to perform, but kimat (nearly) with each one, He also created a slew of business opportunities. And who figured them out? Mostly people who learned His heylige Toirah, Mishneh and Gemora and that’s why they say that ‘toirah is di beste schoira’. In the end, it’s a gisheft and this yom tov of sukkis is a really big business. All year round, overseas factories are hocking away laying pipe and sewing canvases. Others do this locally, if you chap. Not unlike Christmas- lehavdil elef alphey havdolois- this holiday gives rise to pop up stores that sell sukkis, lulavim, esrogim and decorations. And just like that, an hour before yom tov starts, it’s ois business until next year. Hundreds of Yiddin in this gisheft are busy gouging tens of thousands of other Yiddin as they try to comply with the two pisukim that gave rise to the entire gisheft. The givaldige thing about sukkis is that there are so many places to make a living. Can’t afford to be in the sukkoh business, you can always sell a lulav and esrog on the street. Can’t afford the inventory, you can sell Hoishanis which one can grow in his own backyard. Is the RBSO great or what?
Over the years, sukkis have become works of art and their structures and designs worthy of architectural digest. Today’s sukkis come in canvas, fiberglass, wood, glass and other materials. They come soft and hard. Sechach options include bamboo, evergreens, slats of wood sewn together, and more. It’s likely this business that has catapulted the Chinese economy past that of the United States. Decorations have gone from the simple, the type that our kinderlach made for the 15-25k of yearly tuition for nursery through kindergarten, to silk screened walls of the Kiddush, also, of course, made in China. Where in the heylige Gemora does it tell us that China is so closely related to our Yom Toiv of Sukkis? Ver veyst and seemingly nowhere! Shoin, in the end, it appears that Yofes, one of Noaich’s children and according to legend, also the father of all Chinese people, did ok for himself. Veyter.
When the Oisvorfer was a little boy, his tata OBM (father) would, immediately following the post Yom, Kippur meal, begin the succah building process. Given that we lived on the second floor, this was a multi step process which entailed, among other things, getting all the succah panels out of the dark shed, tying them up one by one and then with the assistance of the tata and the yingerer brider (younger brother), we would pull each panel up from street level. Because we weren’t the handiest bunch, every once in a while a 4X8 fiberglass panel would slip out of the very weak knot concoction we tied around it, and fall back the ground nearly decapitating us. Shoin: builders we weren’t meant to be. And when we asked why we must do this in the dark or cold, the tata explained that it’s a big mitzvah to go from the mitzva of Yom Kippuir directly into the building of the sukkoh. Shoin: the Tata said and we did! And that’s the way it was for many years.
Zicher you know that there are only four days from the end of Yom Kippur until the beginning of Sukkes. Grada these four days are special mamish and soon enough the heylige Oisvorfer will further illuminate: you zicher will not want to miss this next sugya (topic), it’s eye opening, mamish. And while the heylige Toirah provides no explicit connection between the two holidays, one cannot ignore the close proximity of the two. And taka said no lesser a giant than The Rema (R. Moshe Isserles,1520-1572) (Orach Chayyim 624:5 and 625:1) quoting theMaharil‘s customs, azoy: it’s a mitzvah to start building the sukkoh the night after Yom Kippur, to go from mitzvah to mitzvah; the following day, to build it completely, so as not to delay an available mitzvah. Seemingly the Tata knew what he was talking about.
Roll forward kimat 40 years: the Oisvorfer decided that this would be a nice mitzvah to introduce following a meal fit for king that the gantze mishpocho partook in after the cleansing our bodies and souls experienced during the 25 hours fast. Ober how to motivate teenage and young adult males to partake in this mitzvah? Ober Raboyseyee, the RBSO who knows all, even our thoughts, came to the rescue, this time in the form of a human. And with the help of the unsuspecting shver (father in law), this is how it all unfolded.
Asked the shver innocently: what time is the Giant game tomorrow? Answered one of the boys with great excitement: it’s at 1:00pm, Manning vs. Manning. Asked the eishes chayil: what time will you be back from Queens and New Jersey? Answered the Oisvorfer: about 1:00pm and said the Oisvorfer to his kinderlach: be ready at 1:00PM to come outside and help build the succah. Ober the boys had the big game on their minds and were mamish counting down the days for the great matchup between the two brothers Manning. Not since Shimoin and Levi, the dynamic duo who wiped out the entire city of Shechem following the captivity and rape of their sister Dina, were brothers causing such excitement here in New York. And here in the Oisvorfer’s own home, three boys were now counting down the hours and planning their entire day around this farstunkina TV event. Ober when they heard that the sukkoh building might interfere with the Giant game, within minutes mamish, there they were, all three boys, outside in the cold determined to get the sukkoh built; sechach, lighting and decorations included! And that’s how two goyim who never heard of a sukkoh caused three nice yeshiva boys to go from mitzvah to mitzvah. As an aside, the game was schedule for 4PM and the boys had it wrong ober the RBSO works in mysterious ways. Gishmak mamish and a yashar koiach to Zachary, Jonathan and Max for their help.
Nu…speaking of going from mitzvah to mitzvah, listen to this givaldige piece of news for the oisvorf community, a shtikel you can mamish repeat at the Yom tov tish in the sukkoh. Efsher you recall that one page ago, we mentioned that there are but four days between Yom Kippur and Sukkis and indeed they are special ones. It appears that these four days are sin-free, meaning that any sins committed during these four days are seemingly not on your permanent record. Avada it’s not good to have a permanent record, if you chap. And what could be better news? Is the Oisvorfer suggesting that one can mamish commit giferliche avayrois, the type many of you commit regularly and yet, due to a technicality in the calendar, get a free pass? Are the RBSO’s Chosen people eligible to participate in a special ‘aveiro amnesty program’? Ver veyst? Is this a Jewish concept, ver veyst? Are these bonus days? What’s taka pshat here? Did the RBSO decide that we davened so well during Yom Kippur that we likely won’t sin until Sukkois? Nu, lommer lernen (let’s learn).
Says the heylige Toirah (Lev. 23:39): “But on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep a feast to the Lord seven days; on the first day shall be a shabbis, and on the eighth day shall be a shabbis. And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of a beautiful tree, date branches, a branch of a leafy tree, and willows of the brook and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days.”
Asks the Midrash (Tanchumah) as quoted by The Tur (Siman 581) azoy:Why is it called the first day, indeed it’s actually the 15th day of the month? Ober the medrish, like it many times does, answers its own question with this bombshell: the first day of Sukkis is called “rishoin l’cheshboin avoinois”; it’s the first day (post Yom Kippur) that the RBSO begins to count our aveiros (sins) since wiping the slate clean as a result of the teshuva (repentance) we did on Yom Kippur. Did you just read that correctly? Indeed you did! Noch a mol (one more time). The posik (verse) refers to it as the ‘first day’ because it’s the first day of the counting of new sins. A new set of books are opened to record your avayrois. Could there be better and more refreshing news for giferliche bums like many of you are ? Ober what taka pshat here?
Ober The Taz was not at all happy with this explanation and asked azoy: how can it be that the days of preparation before Succois are free of sin, yet the day of Succois itself, the day of the performance of the mitzvoth is the new accounting for sins. Surely the actual performance of the mitzvah should be greater than the preparation beforehand.
And asked the Al Cheyt azoy: What about the aveiros we commit in the four days between Yom Kippur and Sukkis? Do they not count? Ober to chap this amazing concept, let’s learn the heylige Gemora (Yuma 86b) which says azoy: when we (on Yom Kippur) do teshuva m’yiroh (out of fear), “zidoinois na’aseh k’shgogois”; the RBSO considers the aveiros we did b’mayzid (intentionally), and zicher you know exactly which of these you did, giferlcie person that you are, as if we did them b’shoigig (without intent) and does not punish us. Givaldig mamish! But there’s more and better. If and when we do teshuva mayahavo (out of love) for the RBSO, “zidonos na’aseh k’zichuyos”; our aveiros turn into mitzvos. That is the power of teshuva mi’ahava. In accounting language, we can suggest that our debits get turned into credits. Gishmak mamish.
Because the Yiddin fast, daven and of course do some t’shuva (repent) on Yom Kippur, all is forgiven. And on the first day of Sukkis the Yiddin take their fully adorned lulovim on which they just spent a princely amount and dance in praise before the RBSO. The RBSO forgives them and says, ‘I will erase all your previous sins and start counting new sins from this day forward.’
Said the Kedushas Levi (Rav Levi Yitzchok MiBeridchev) azoy: on Yom Kippur, due to our exemplary behavior which includes teshuva, the RBSO ignores our aveiros and we are granted a good year. Succos on the other hand is a Yom Tov of simcha and great joy. It is a time when we do teshuva out of extreme love for the RBSO. We sit in the Succah and enjoy His presence. Therefore all our old aveiros are now turned into mitzvos. And as a special reward, the RBSO takes out all the aveiros that He “threw away” on Yom Kippur when he forgave us and does a recount of sorts. Seemingly the RBSO wants to give us extra credits, He is seeking to mark us on a curve and zicher we could use the extra credits. And given that He turned our bad deeds into good ones, the recount is ordered so that these good deeds are placed into our credit accounts. Gishmak mamish!
Ober how does all this work? Seemingly, if we go from mitzvah too mitzvah as the Oisvorfer’s boys did this week, we have little time to chap arayn any aveirois. Between building and decorating the succoh, shopping for the lulav and perfect esrog to match, getting the house ready for the myriad guests and other zachyen, we won’t have time to do aveiros. Ober comes Succis, the clock begins anew.
Ober how long does it take to commit a giferlche sin and haven’t you committed them in five minutes or less? And what’s pshat we’re too busy to sin; is that ever the case? Seemingly it’s punkt farkert (exactly the opposite) as typically, we make special time just for sinning. And does it make sense that the RBSO is giving out free four-day passes? Is this the gym? What’s taka pshat? Ober the news is not as great a sit was 2 or 3 paragraphs above ober still good.
Said the Shelah HaKadosh, that in the four days between Yom Kippur and Sukkis, sins that were committed are forgiven to the same extent as if they had been done before Yom Kippur (where the person does teshuva). Though Yom Kippur has passed, we are granted an “extension” of atonement until Sukkios starts. And said the Tolna Maggid, whoever that is or was, azoy: One could do no wrong in the eyes of the RBSO while preparing for the mitzvah of sukkoh. On the other had once the mitzvah starts, the RBSO starts looking a little closer, hence the new count. Gishmak!
And the good news for the oisvorf community? If your tshuva over Yom Kippur wasn’t up to par, and you had evil thoughts even as you were down on the floor during koirem, as was Eli, do not despair!
You have until Wednesday evening of this week to get your house in order. Your can reset your clock to Ne’ilah and get a second bite at the tshuva apple but avada you must stay away from the forbidden apples and other fruit, if you chap.
A gitten Yom Tov- chag somayach!
The Oisvorfer Ruv