By Stephen Kirschenbaum
There are Shivim Parei Hachag, 70 animals that are offered in descending order over the days of Sukkos. These 70 Parei Hachag correspond to the 70 nations of the world and the number of Parim that are offered decrease in numbers as the days of Succos carry on. What is the depth of it?
Rashi in Pinchas 29:18 states the 70 Parei Hachag correspond to the 70 nations. שמתמעטים והולכים, The number of Parim offered diminish with each passing day. It’s a sign of destruction. When the Beis Hamikdash stood, these 70 Parim protected these nations from Yissurim, from difficulty.
This Rashi seems to be very difficult. It’s a contradiction between the beginning and the end of Rashi. First, Rashi says the 70 Parei Hachag are a sign of the destruction of the 70 Umos, and then Rashi says the 70 Parim serve as a protection.
The Avnei Sho’ham explains by the Dor Haflaga, the whole world spoke one language, was one people, an Am Echad. Through the sin of the Dor Haflaga, humanity was divided into 70 nations. The Tachlis of the world is that all of humanity should return to be together as one, to recognize HKBH. As we davened on the Yomim Noraim, V’yai’asu Kulam Aguda Echas La’asos Retzoncha B’leivav Shaleim. Naturally, we think this is a prayer for Klal Yisrael becoming one Aguda. Really, the words before are Tein Pachdecha Hashem Elokeinu Al Kol Ma’asecha, V’aimas’cha Al Kol Ma Shebarasa, V’yira’ucha Kol Hama’asim, V’yishtachavu Lefanecha Kol Hab’ruim. V’yai’asu Kulam Aguda Achas. Not just Klal Yisrael, but all of humanity should become one nation that recognizes HKBH.
The Yalkut in Parshas Noach says that the Malachim came down and created 70 nations out of one and then L’asid Lavo it will go from 70 downwards until every nation recognizes G-d. So, the idea that the Korbanos are M’matin Es Ha’umos, the Korbanos depict the nations becoming fewer. It’s true that the Reshaim disappear from the world. But from every nation there are good people which are connected to the one Uma, to the one nation. That is a protection of the Korbanos to the Umos Ha’olam. Those who are worthy become less. The 70 languages should become one. The 70 nations of antiquity are today only a few nations that remain. However, the goal of the Parei Hachag being M’matin is that the righteous ones throughout all the nations should combine and unite with Klal Yisrael in recognizing the Borei Olam. Therefore, it’s not a contradiction between the two parts in Rashi. The nations are Kalim, they should come to an end. However, the righteous people of the nations, these Korbanos are for those righteous ones.
With this, we have a little bit of an understanding of the level of Hoshana Rabba. By then, the 70 Parim are done, are gone. If the idea is to be destroyed, so then there is no reason to make a Yom Tov the next day. There’s no reason for that to be a day with extra Avoda; however, if the idea is His’achdus and the Yichud of all of those who serve HKBH, then there is an elevated level of Tikkun.
Succos, leading up to Hoshana Rabbah, represents the time of extraordinary purpose, of positive Tikkun. These are days not to forget the experience from which we are coming.