One of the most profound Sukkot meditations
is that entering its spiritual space is
to experience being “hugged” by the Shechena,
the Divine Presence.
On Rosh HaShanah we were “back-to-back”
with God, looking in opposite directions.
Our prayers and supplications
during the following two weeks
caused a mutual turn around
and we could then face each other
and embrace in love and joy.
The Love increases in intensity
on Hoshanah Rabah
during which one of the Four Species,
the Willow Leaf
which has the shape of a mouth
is an important part of the service.
This symbolizes the state of kissing
as expressed in the Song of Songs:
יִשָּׁקֵנִי מִנְּשִׁיקוֹת פִּיהוּ
Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth
To be “kissed by God”
is to receive a chassidic insight
on the words of the Torah.
This process reaches a climax
on Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah
when Israel and the Shechena
achieve a complete unity.
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