Hakel and Yom Kippur

Shavua Tov. Today’s Parsha spoke about the ceremony known as הקהל, Hakel, that was done once in seven years on the Succot following the Shmitta year. ( We just began year four of the seven year cycle.)

The king read the major portions of the Torah and all of Israel were invited to attend. Even small children were encouraged to come to the Beit Hamikdash.

Rabbi Soloveitchik felt that this was compensation for not being able to be in the Temple on Yom Kippur. The Rav claimed that only the Kohanim and elite were allowed to be in the Temple courtyard witnessing the holy service of Yom Kippur by the כהן גדול.

The highlight of this service was hearing the שם המפורש, the ineffable name of G-d being uttered by the High Priest on the holiest day of the year.

It is not clear if those outside of the Temple actually heard this or not. But logistically, all of עם ישראל could not fit in the Temple.

The holiness was certainly felt all over Israel. But the actual entrance to the Temple was once in seven years. Perhaps this seems a little unfair. This made me understand and appreciate how Chassidut was founded to make everyone feel that they have a part in כלל ישראל.