Wednesday, Feb 8, 2023

Moed Koton 9: An Unusual Celebration

On this daf, we find that when they celebrated the completion of the first Bais Hamikdosh, they began the week before Sukkos and ate every day until the Yom Tov, including on Yom Kippur. When they second-guessed this, a heavenly voice emerged, telling them that they were all prepared for the World to Come. This shows that their actions were acceptable to Hashem in this.

Rav Tzadok Hakohein of Lublin wonders about this: “How could they have eaten on Yom Kippur? Did the entire Jewish people forget the sanctity of Yom Kippur?”

He offers an answer: “We can explain based on the words of the Tikkunei Zohar. There we find that in the ultimate future, Yom Kippur will be a time of great oneg. We will eat festive meals and will no longer have to be without shoes to access its holiness. The Jewish people initially thought that they had accessed the light of the future and should act on Yom Kippur like we will then, but they later doubted their purity. The heavenly voice reassured them that they had been correct in their original assessment.”

In a second piece, Rav Tzadok gives a different approach. “Why didn’t anyone ask the Sanhedrin about whether this was permitted? The answer is that they all felt the holiness of the coming Yom Tov of Sukkos, when we are all surrounded by the Clouds of Glory. All scholars felt certain that this was their mitzvah at that time. Afterwards, when they were unsure, the heavenly voice reaffirmed that their actions had been proper and earned them complete atonement and a special place in the World to Come” (Pri Tzaddik).

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