Saturday, 15 October 2011

Mussar: Sitting in the Sukkah with Kavanah

Derech Emet quoting Mishnah Brurah

«Every time we dwell in the Sukkah we must remind
ourselves that we are doing so to remember the Exodus from Egypt [Yetziat Mitzrayim] and the
[miraculous] Clouds of Glory [Ananei HaKavod] which surrounded us at that time to protect us from the heat and Sun [and from animals and enemies].»

DerechEmet : Message: Quick Jewish Quote for 2011 October 15



AFAIK this CONCEPT of doing the mitzvah with Kavanah is hardly unique to the MB

EG R Hirsch emphasized the importance of Mitzvot and their SYMBOLISM.

This reflection upon the Mitzvah is a NISHMA aspect [perhaps THE NISHMA aspect] that follows the Na'aseh aspect. Na'aseh - we will do, Nishma - we will perceive or experience or contemplate.

During Hirsch's 19th Century struggle, most of Orthodoxy had unfortunately devolved into abandoning the concepts and philosophies behind the Mitzvot and had begun merely observing mechanically by rote. In reaction, Reform sought to remedy this with replacing ACTION with CONCEPT. Thereby, they threw out the baby [observance] with the bathwater [of rote performance]. Hirsch, in turm, demanded BOTH observance and contemplation thereof. [The Mussar School AIUI had a similar approach]

I believe that this is also a Central Goal of Nishma, i.e. to go beyond Halachah and to seek meaning, concept, and symbolism.

Observe with body and mind = Na'aseh v'Nishma


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