Ach sameiach


The Torah states regarding Sukkos (16:15): vihayisa ach sameiach, and you will be completely joyous. It also is said (Vayikra 23:39): ach bachamisha asar yom lachodesh hashevii, but on the fifteenth day of the seventh month. This refers to the first day of Sukkos. The Gemara at the end of Maseches Sukkah states that when the Tanna Hillel would attend the Simchas Bais Hashoeva on Sukkos, he would say, im ani kan hakol kan, if I am here, then everyone is here. The word ach is an acrostic for the words ani kan. Furthermore, Hillel is the one who said (Avos 1:12) one should be a student of Aharon, by loving peace and seeking peace, loving mankind and bringing them close to Torah. Hillel also was the one who told the convert who wished to study the entire Torah while standing on one foot, “do not do to others what you would not want done to you, and the rest is commentary” (Shabbos 31a). This is parallel to the teaching of Rabbi Akiva who taught that the positive commandment of (Vayikra 19:18) viahavta lireiacha kamocha, love your neighbor like yourself, is a great rule in the Torah. The word ach is an acrostic for the words ahava kamocha, love (your friend) like yourself, and Aharon Kohen.

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