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Were You Ever Hugged?

Between a Word, a Kiss, a Gaze and an Embrace: The Kabbalistic Perspective on the Sukkah. When G-d Hugs Us

50 min

Class Summary:

"For more than three millenia, during the seven days of Sukkos, we eat, drink, feast, schmooze, relax, read, and sleep in a hut known as a Sukkah. This structure consists of walls and a roof composed of material that grew from the ground, like bamboo, straw or branches. How many walls does the Sukkah require? According to Jewish law, a Sukkah must have two complete walls plus a third wall that may even be one handbreadth long. If your Sukkah has three or four complete walls, that's wonderful; but the minimum requirement is two walls and a tiny piece of a third wall." "Why does the law dictate this exact requirement for the Sukkah walls? And what really is the spiritual and psychological significance of spending seven days in a hut on your porch or in your backyard? The great Kabbalists teach that Sukkos is the holiday, the celebration, of G-d loving and embracing the Jew. The Sukka is essentially G-d’s hug. There are two forms of love—reciprocal love and unconditional love." "I may love you because of what I receive in return for my relationship with you. You may be wise, deep, sensitive, kind, beautiful, humorous, challenging etc. - qualities expressed in and through your face, your eyes, ears and mouth and general look - and I love you because of these or other tremendous qualities that enrich my life. Yet there is a far deeper love – unconditional, unqualified and absolute love. I don't love you because of me; I love you because of you. You may not give me anything in return for my love, you may even want me out of your life, but I still love you with all my heart, because my soul loves your soul." "This great unconditional love is physically evident in the Sukka itself. This class will examine four different languages of love: Words of affection, a kiss, a gaze, and a hug. We will study the kabbalistic significance behind each, and discover the greatest love of all: the Sukka."

Please leave your comment below!

  • Anonymous -1 year ago

    Thank you it was a very uplifting shiur.  New perspective on Sukkot and how it represents a huge hug. 

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  • AF

    Adam F. -2 years ago

    The online New York Post reports on March 24, 2022 an incident involving the boxer Mike Tyson - how he  responded to an armed heckler with a bear hug. This reminded me of the Rabbi hugging prisoners on this tape from R YY's.

    “All I need is you. All I need is you,” the man is heard saying to a seated Tyson before the show’s host shoves him away.The man then pulled out a gun from his waist, sending people fleeing and ducking for cover.But Tyson remained calm during the frightening incident, spread out his bulging arms and gave the man a bear hug."

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  • A

    Aharon -5 years ago

    Hugging is healthy. It helps the body’s immune system. It keeps you healthier. It cures depression. It reduces stress. It induces sleep. It’s invigorating. It’s rejuvenating. It has no unpleasant side effects. Hugging is nothing less than a miracle drug.
    Hugging is all natural. It’s organic, naturally sweet, no pesticides, no preservatives, no artificial ingredients, and 100 per cent wholesome.
    Hugging is practically perfect. There are no moveable parts, no batteries to wear out, no periodic check-ups. Hugging is low energy consumption, high energy yield, inflation-proof, non-fattening. Hugging has no monthly payments, no insurance requirements. Hugging is theft proof, non-taxable, non-polluting and, of course, fully returnable.

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    • SR

      Stanley Ress -8 months ago

      :-)  :-)  :-)

      I'm just not so sure about the healthy part :-)

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  • P

    p5uwtCq -8 years ago

    שיעור מדהים ומרגש ומרתק. אלפי תודות לרב עבור עוד הרצאה מגלה יסודות התורה באופן בהיר ומוחש. והנה שאלתי על ענין החיבוק היא אם משנה אם המקבל מחבק את מי שנותן לו את החיבוק או די אם המקבל אינו מביע אהבה הדדית כלל לנותן לו את החיבוק? ועוד שאלה על ענין כשרות הסוכה לפי הרמזים בצורת האותיות ס'כ'ה', דהיינו הסמך הרי היא עגולה ואומרים שמרמזת על סוכה שלמה של ד' דפנות כהילכתן אך כיצד כי היא אינה בעלת ד' דפנות נפרדות המחוברות אלא דופן א' בלבד הנמשכת מתחילתה עד סופה כקו ההיקף של עגול. ודומה לזה האות כף שהיא כחצי עגול ואינה מרובעה אלא היא כחצי האות סמך וא"כ איך מלמדים ממנה צורה נכונה של סוכה כהילכתה? ועוד האות הה הרי היא מרובעה אך הדופן השלישית הרי היא נפרדת לגמרי משאר הדפנות וכאילו אינה חלק עצמותי ונחוצי של בנין האות וא"כ איך יתכן לבנות סוכה כשרה בצורה שכזאת? ועוד הלא שבת כמו ישביה בסוכה כי בו האכילה והשתיה והדיבור וכו' נחשבות כמצוות מה שאין כן כ"כ בימות החול? יישר כחך. כל טוב.

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    • M

      mendel -8 years ago

      I think the answer to your question about the samach being round, and also the hay being separated is that the samach surrounds on all sides and has the same
      laws as a square. [See Gemarah Sukkah the bottom of daf 7: and the whole
      daf 8. for the measurements of a circle sukkah and how it compares it to a
      square.] Regarding the hay question see bottom of daf 6: where
      there is a discussion where to put the hand breath wall. But the main thing is
      that the hand breath wall must be close to the schach and it doesn’t have to be next to the other
      walls. The law is that it has to be less than three hand breaths from one of the other walls so maybe the hay is less then three hand breaths away.

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  • Y

    YH -10 years ago

    Thanks for a well-delivered Succos shiur.

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  • S

    Susana -11 years ago

    Hermosa e inspiradora la clase,

    Muchas gracias por el trabajo que hacen para traerlo al alcance de los


    Jag Sameaj!


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  • M

    marcelo -11 years ago

    Un video muy bueno. Mucha inspiracion y enseñanza.

    Lastima que no esta disponible la hoja de estudio.

    Felicitaciones por este emprendimiento

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    • A

      Anonymous -11 years ago

      Muchas gracias!

      El Plan de Estudio ya está disponible en español.

      ¡Muchas gracias por avisarnos!

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  • RM

    Rivkah Miriam -12 years ago

    Powerful!  We see the unfortunate but predictable debacles in the Arab world after their presumed "revolutions" which Americans naively thought would bring freedom.  The most important lesson for Jews is how to overcome our own oppression and not internalize the hostile attitudes and actions to which we have been subjected.

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  • I

    Israel -12 years ago

    Not Nice Joke
    This "joke" is in very poor taste, shows very poor judgment on your part, exhibits extreme political bias and is not funny; what's next -- anti-union "jokes", anti-black "jokes" and anti-Obama "humor"?  "The third one listens to the other two and shakes his head. He then says: "You two know nothing about fast. My father is a civil servant. He stops working at 4:30 and he is home by 3:45"!"

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    • A

      Anonymous -11 years ago

      Re: Not Nice Joke
      i dont think its a joke in poor tast. i worked in the civil service. it is lax a bit everywhere. there is a saying, if the cap fits, wear it. so if something is said and there is some truth in it for us, lets just accept it and thank G-d it was given to us in a friendly manner. what has obama to do with this or color. its a wonderful lesson. thank you rabbi.

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    • R

      RH -11 years ago

      Re: Not Nice Joke
      Nice joke indeed!! The world has gone so mad, that most people have lost even the ability to laugh of themselves!! And in 90% of the cases, it's true throughout the world.

      Let's get rid of this politically correct stuff.

      As for unions and obama, every joke is well deserved. Both are evil and act against American interests, weakening and destroying all previous achievements. Nothing against blacks however - that doesn't mean one should be forbidden to make jokes on them, or on any group at all.

      BTW, did you know this one (it's old...)?

      The old pious Jew is lying on his bed, critically ill, surrounded by his wife and all his children.

      He asks, with a feeble voice:

      - Yossele, are you here?

      - Yes, Tatele - says the bechor.

      - Moishe...?

      - Yes Tatty...

      - Rivkele...?

      - Yes...

      The old Jew sighs deeply and with his last breath he utters...

      - Then who's taking care of the shop?????

      Call me racist? Anti-semitic? [Disclaimer: I'm Jewish]

      Relax, Mr. Not Nice Joke... you shouldn't be so upset - unless you're a public servant *and* proceed like the guy in the joke.

      Shalom & shavuah tov,


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  • J

    joseph -12 years ago


     i enjoy very much your teachings but i miss a lot of it because you wisper to much

    and when you scream i have to lower the volume

    thank you for your shiurim 

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  • ESE

    Esther Sarah Evans -13 years ago

    ב"ה b"H inyan: power and prison and more
    Thanks for your inspiring Wort. - The cat people in contrast to the dog people are the ones who allow others their freedom.
    If we are in the unfortunate circumstances that yes, we are imprisoned - literally, it would appear, besides davening to HaShem we can also make use of a tip from a goyisher mystic, I believe Angelus Silesius, who said:
    "Dein Kerker bist du selbst, der dich in dir gefangen haeltst." (You, who imprison yourself within yourself, are your own prison.) - I think of that in the morning at the Koisel, when I am davening to HaShem to free Gilad Shalit and our other imprisoned soldiers and also Jonathan Pollard, and I add "vekoolanoo, et klal Yisrael, sheanoo koolanoo assirim veassirot balibeynoo; ana HaShem, petach libeynoo leTorateykha"...(and us all, klal Yisrael, who are trapped in our hearts. Please, Hashem, open our hearts to your Torah). I hope it helps, but it will help really only those whose Bitchon is like that of Yosef HaTzaddik, who stayed chipper all the time he was imprisoned by Pharaoh, all the time he was separated from his father in the land into which he had been sold.

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  • LU

    Leah Urso -13 years ago

    Control vs freedom
    By accepting others I free myself - a profound lesson I'll remember. Thank you Rabbi Y.Y.!

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  • B

    Beauty! -13 years ago

    A truly Inspirational essay

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  • S

    suri -13 years ago

    Wonderful,inspiring lecture; but the mike system is not sufficient for the Rabbi words to be heard; sometimes its not even audible. Please can you try to work on this tech issue so that we can benifit from these special lectures. Thank You

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  • M

    Moshe -13 years ago

    Significance of the hand's breadth
    Great shiur!

    According to your explanation, the forearm is enough for me (the hugger) to embrace the back of the hugged.

    What is the significance of the hand's breadth?

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  • TG

    tzipi glick -13 years ago

    What a shiur!!! Each time it's better and better!
    May we all feel we are being hugged by Hash-m and transfer that unconditional love from him to all Jews!!!
    Yashar Koach!

    Chag Sameach!!!

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  • SG

    Shaul Goldberg -13 years ago

    NY Student Shabbaton
    Reb YYJ -
    I heard you'll be at the NY Student Shabbaton again. I can't wait to farbreng. I owe you a hug. Thank you for your shiurim.

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  • J

    joe -13 years ago

    and the sechah? what does that signify? the hug i get, but whats with the sechach?

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  • SM

    sonya matsui -13 years ago

    Succos lecture
    Y'yasher koach. As usual, informative, uplifting, inspiring. Yehi......
    Gut Yom Tov!!

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  • RF

    R. Fingerhut -13 years ago

    Thank you for saying over this story from R. Shlomo. It is a z'chus to tell about his great love for humanity and ahavas hashem.

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  • RT

    R. Tamkin -13 years ago

    I love the nigunim at the beginning of the shiruim. It's great!

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  • V

    Victor -13 years ago

    Beautiful Shir
    Thank you Rabbi Jacobson for yet another amazing shir.

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  • M

    Michal -13 years ago

    so emotional class
    Thank you, Rabbi, for this class about Hashem's unconditional love forward to each of us. I have never thought about Sukka this way. You are truly a great teacher, and your emotional speech and expression of your face, hands and eyes show how you love Torah, how you connect to Hashem, how you love your pupils. You pick the great comparisons and meanings for this class.

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  • K

    Keresh -13 years ago

    Very inspiring and informative.
    Thank you very much.
    Chag sameach from Uruguay.

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Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • September 20, 2010
  • |
  • 12 Tishrei 5771
  • |
To our sister Navi Zeiler on the occasion of her birthday Lichatchila Ariber! Dedicated by David and Eda Schottenstein in the loving memory of Alta Shula SwerdlovAnd in merit of Yetta Alta Shula, "Aliya," Schottenstein

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