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Browse Zemanim: Sukot: Three Festivals - Three Relationships:

Contributed by: R. Yaakob Savdie

"שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים בַּשָּׁנָה יֵרָאֶה כָּל זְכוּרְךָ אֶל פְּנֵי הָאָדֹן ה' (שמות פרק כג:יז)"
"שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים בַּשָּׁנָה יֵרָאֶה כָּל זְכוּרְךָ אֶת פְּנֵי הָאָדֹן ה' אֱ-לֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל (שמות פרק לד:כג)"
"שָׁלוֹשׁ פְּעָמִים בַּשָּׁנָה יֵרָאֶה כָל זְכוּרְךָ אֶת פְּנֵי ה' אֱ-לֹהֶיךָ בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִבְחָר בְּחַג הַמַּצּוֹת וּבְחַג הַשָּׁבֻעוֹת וּבְחַג הַסֻּכּוֹת וְלֹא יֵרָאֶה אֶת פְּנֵי ה רֵיקָם (דברים פרק טז:טז) "

On each of the Shalosh Regalim (3 festivals of Pesah, Shabuot, & Sukot) every male is obligated to ascend to Yerushalayim in order to ‘appear in front of G-d' in the Bet Hamiqdash. Each of the above pesukim delineate that obligation. However, there are slight nuances in the description of G-D.

The first verse states: "you shall appear in front of the master G-D " The second states: "you shall appear in front of the master G-D Lord of Israel " The third states: "you shall appear in front of the master G-D your Lord ". What is the meaning of these nuances? R. Meir Shapira explains that these nuances represent the development of the understanding of G-d's relationship with this world.

The Rambam (Hilchot Aboda Zara 1:1) states that until the time of Abraham people believed that after G-d created heaven and earth, he had no further involvement in this world (earth). Abraham Abinu proclaimed and preached that G-d in fact does watch over the world as a whole. The Torah tells us that while he was in Ertez Kena'an "he called out in the name of G-d "El Olam- The G-d of the world". In addition, the Gemara states that Abraham was the first to call G-D "Adon-Master." This means that he was the first to educate the people on earth about this concept. Yaakob Abinu continued this teaching and revealed the concept that G-d has special hashgaha (providence) over Am Yisrael. Hence the Torah states that he called G-d, "the Lord of
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