****Jax’s Tuesday D’Var Torah on Shmini Atzeres****
“Zeh hayom asa Hashem,” “This is the day that Hashem has made, let us rejoice in it.”
What is the reason behind the holiday of Shmini Atzeres? Pesach commemorates freedom from Mitzreim-Egypt, Shavuos commemorates giving of the Torah and the Luchos at Har Sinai.
Shmini Atzeres does not commemorate any historic event or miracle. The reason behind Shmini Atzeres is as follows: During all the Yom Tovim, the Yidden would travel to the Bais HaMikdash with Karbanos to Hashem. It is like a father, whose family is all visiting. When it is all over and time for everyone to go home the father says, “Stay a while longer.” Hashem, as it were, says, “Kasheh alai preidaschem…Your parting is difficult for Me. Stay a while longer” So Hashem made the chag of Shmini Atzeres – not for any historic cause, but, just to extend the stay. Just to have us around a bit longer in his full and glorious presence.
There is another way to understand the words “Kasheh alai preidaschem…Your parting is difficult for Me.” It is referring to the fact that we are now parting each other (Yaaneh Shel Torah). Hashem loves when we are all together in kinship and unity.
Queen Izevel, the wicked wife of King Achav, ordered her servants to kill all the prophets of Hashem. Many were slain but 100 prophets were saved due to the valiant efforts of Ovadya. He hid them all, 50 in one cave and 50 in another cave and secreted them food and water every day at great personal risk. Some of the Torah commentaries point out that the reason he hid them in two caves was because he could not find one cave big enough for all one hundred. That is to say that it was not for some strategic reason, but only because there was no choice for it is important for Jews to be together. More can be accomplished. More spiritual greatness can be achieved.
Hashem loves it when we are all together in kinship & unity!
A gutten moed everyone & may you have a splendid day!