I saw a beautiful insight about Hoshana Raba, hitting the aravos, and Simchas Torah. Hoshana Raba, the seventh day of Succos, is represented by Dovid HaMelech (King David). His contribution to the Jewish people was his Tehilim (Psalms), words that have touched the Jewish heart for thousands of years. The last day of Succos is a day of tefilah, of prayer. We are finished with our lulav and esrog and our succah, but we still have our tefilah.
But we then realize that even the words don’t capture the depth of our hopes and aspirations. And to reflect that our words aren’t broad enough to reflect these feelings, we beat the aravos (symbolizing the mouth) on the ground, as if to say, we thought we were left with just words but even that doesn’t fully reflect our yearning.
What are we left with? We are left with the knowledge and awareness that Hashem has heard our prayers and has led us again and again, through the ups and downs, through thick and thin, to new life, to a new year. And what else is there to do but dance. And dance, we do. With all of our beings we dance the endless dance of the Jewish people. We make a circle and that blocks our enemies, internal and external from entering the spectacular reality of life and of our people.
Rabosai, we all have challenges and we all have blessings. We can realize that all of our lives are opportunities to truly appreciate everything we have and everything that happens to us and through all of it, to sing and dance.
May we all have a Simchas Torah filled with true simcha.
Written By: Rabbi Dovid Charlop

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