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Shabbat Parashat Haazinu Sukkot 5779

Ein Ayah: True Happiness of the Highest and Almost Highest Levels

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 6:114)

Gemara: There is a story of R. Akiva, who made a party for his son. For each glass of wine they brought, he said: “Wine and life according to the Rabbis; life and wine according to the Rabbis and according to their students.”


Ein Ayah: Happiness is connected to wine, as it says: “Wine shall make the heart of man happy” (Tehillim 104:15). The spiritual happiness of the spirit is the crown of the truth of the Rabbis.

It is not some specific thing, action, or matter that is studied that causes Torah scholars of the highest level to be happy. Rather, they are in an ongoing state of happiness. Happiness from their connection to Hashem is itself the root of these scholars’ souls, and this connection is beyond all the value of life. It is from this joy that their spiritual and practical lives cull their aura and the influence that comes from the special light.

The greatest of the Rabbis would have been able to elevate themselves even farther than they did in the spiritual joy that transcends life if they did not have to stay connected to their students, whose lives are much more standard. The students need to be brought along slowly, step after step.

On their own, the Rabbis would see immeasurable spiritual riches and would have deep aspects in their lives of highly defined spiritual shades. Their happiness is the source of their life, and from their light the world is filled with sanctity and wisdom, truth, completeness, and justice. For this reason, at a meal of sanctity, at which Hashem’s presence is felt, it is appropriate to declare that the wine and the life, [which are linked to happiness], are according to the Rabbis. The joy that is related to the wine, which is being used in a manner that is reminiscent of the libations on the holy altar, impacts the essence of life and makes it what it is.

Those who have embarked on the path of spiritual development, and want to enter the hall in which the light of Hashem can be seen, must sanctify their lives through proper study and proper action.  With every bit of light that emanates from every mitzva and every amount of Torah study, they can draw water in exhilaration (see Yeshaya 12:3).  When they reach their desired level, they will attain true joy. In their regard, it can be said: “Life and wine are according to the Rabbis and according to their students.” Due to the connection they have with their students, the masters can walk along the same paths with measured steps. “In His arm He will gather the flock” (ibid. 40:11). “Light is sewn for the righteous, and for those with a straight heart there shall be joy” (Tehillim 97:11).

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