October 13, 2022 / 18 Tishrei, 5783 • Sukot
Issue 739
Dedicated in loving memory of Mrs. Miriam Friedman

Special communal offerings were sacrificed every day of the seven -day holiday of Sukkot. A special water-libation accompanied the morning daily offering on these seven days.

The difference between wine and water is that whereas the wine has a distinct flavor and acts as a stimulant, water is bland. Accordingly, wine corresponds to our understanding of our Divine mission – the intellectual and emotional motivation that spurs us to pray, study the Torah, or perform G-d’s commandments with joy and enthusiasm.

Water, in contrast, corresponds to raw discipline, the devotion toG-d that we muster in order to persevere when intellectual or emotional motivation fails us, or to persist beyond the extent to which they drive us.

Nevertheless, we are told that the joy that accompanied the ceremony of drawing the water for the Sukkot water-libation exceeded that of all other celebrations. The unbounded joy that accompanied the water-libation reflected the unbounded nature of raw discipline.

Our intellect and emotions are limited by our mental acuity and emotional sensitivity. Discipline, in contrast, is unlimited; our devotion to G-d is rooted in the essential connection between Him and our Divine souls, and it is therefore not subject to any limitations.

Our renewed realization of this unassailable connection to G-d is what powers the unparalleled outpouring of joy accompanying the water-libation.

—from Daily Wisdom 3