Rabbi Berzansky- Shemini Atzeres
We have reached the end of a special period. If you remember the story of Yankele in the police station and his cry of “Taaatttyyy!” as he leaped into his father’s arms, you will remember that this period started with a tremendous bond between us and Hashem. However, just as all good things must come to an end, so too do these great days of d’veykus. We can’t live in the King’s palace the whole year. By tomorrow we will be back to regular life and everything will turn back to business as usual — except for our new bond with Hashem.
Chazal tell us that Hashem has also enjoyed our closeness and is kaveyachol having a hard time saying goodbye. He asked us to make a farewell party, the day of Shemini Atzeres, to express how painful it is to separate.
This farewell party is a call of love from Hashem asking us not to forget Him and the new bond that we have just created with Him throughout the year. Just as a mother wants her traveling son not to forget her, Hashem does not want us to forget Him, chas v’shalom.
“Please write me letters from time to time and please don’t forget to call,” says the mother to her boy. So too Hashem is telling us with this farewell party, kaveyachol,“Please don’t leave Me. Make sure you keep up our connection by learning Torah every day, doing mitzvos and by davening.”
It is hard to say goodbye, but at the same time, we hopefully have a new bond with Hashem that will keep us connected to Him throughout the year.