Dvar Torah Shemini Atzeret 5767

Shabbat is a day for Jews only. We say in the morning Amida on Shabbat: VELO NETATO … LEGOYE HA’ARATZOT, “And You did not give it to the nations of the earth … “. Pesach commemorates the Exodus and is only for Jews. Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Torah and it was only given to the Jews. What about Succot? An interesting feature of this holiday is that in the time of the BET HAMIKDASH sacrifices were brought daily that totaled to seventy which is the number that represents all the nations of the world in Rabbinic language. According to the Rabbis these seventy sacrifices were brought on Succot for the nations of the world. On Shemini Atzeret one ox was brought and this was on behalf of the Jewish people. On the holiday of Succot we pray not only for Jews but for all nations of the world. What other people pray for other nations? This idea is not a strange one for Jews. When Shlomo Hamelech built the BET HAMIKDASH, during the inauguration he prayed that prayers directed to the Temple be answered: VEGAM EL HANOCHRI ASHER LO ME’AMCHA,. “Also the stranger who is not from Your nation …” (I Kings 8,41).

Prayers of all people were to be accepted by Hashem. The Rabbis tell us that when the Temple was destroyed it cut off all the prayers of the non-Jew.

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