The Mishnah relates that at the end of the festival, the people took leave of the Beis ha'Mikdash and declared, "Yofi Lecha, Mizbe'ach! Yofi Lecha, Mizbe'ach!" -- "Beauty is yours, Mizbe'ach! Beauty is yours, Mizbe'ach!"
RAV REUVEN MARGOLIYOS (end of NITZOTZEI OR) explains that the meaning of this declaration can be understood based on the meaning of the "Hadran" recited upon the completion of a Maseches. According to some commentators (see Sefer ha'Chayim, ch. 3), the words "Hadran Alach" mean not only that "we shall return to (review) you." The words "Hadran Alach" also mean that "our Hadar, or splendor, comes from you." When we complete a Maseches, we declare that we attained splendor through the completion of the Maseches as a result of the splendor of the Torah that Hash-m instilled in the Maseches.
Similarly, when the people completed the Avodah on Sukos, a festival full of exhilarating Simchah and splendor, they declared that they attained splendor through honoring the Mizbe'ach (and the Korbanos brought upon it) which is the vehicle through which Hash-m provides atonement for the sins of the people.
Rav Margoliyos points out another allusion to the declaration mentioned in the Gemara here. The Gemara in Rosh Hashanah (31a) discusses how the Aliyos of the Torah reading of Parshas Ha'azinu are divided. The Gemara gives a mnemonic for the division of the Aliyos, which is comprised of the first letter of the beginning of each paragraph in the Parshah: "ha'Ziv Lach" (H, Z, Y, V, L, CH). The division of the final weekly reading of the Torah into these paragraphs, which form a mnemonic of "ha'Ziv Lach," alludes to our desire to express our joy as we finish the Torah. We declare, "ha'Ziv Lach" -- "The splendor is yours," just as we declare upon the completion of a Maseches, "Hadran Alach." With this expression we acknowledge that we have merited to gain the splendor of the Torah through the weekly reading of the Torah.


QUESTION: The Gemara quotes Raban Shimon bar Yochai, who said that there is a very small number of "Bnei Aliyah," individuals truly dedicated to the service of Hash-m who merit to greet the Shechinah. The Gemara questions his statement from a verse in Yechezkel (48:35) which implies that there are many thousands of Bnei Aliyah. The Gemara answers that Raban Shimon bar Yochai referred only to those Bnei Aliyah who are able to peer through the "Ispaklarya ha'Me'irah," who perceive the Divine essence with intense clarity.
The Gemara asks that there still are 36 people, a significant number, who greet the presence of Hash-m every day through the "Ispaklarya ha'Me'irah." The Gemara answers that those 36 are the Bnei Aliyah "who go up only with permission." Raban Shimon bar Yochai referred to those who do not need permission (Rashi).
According to the Gemara here, there are many Bnei Aliyah who are able to peer through the "Ispaklarya ha'Me'irah" and attain a lucid perception of the Divine. However, this contradicts the Gemara in Yevamos (49b), which teaches that only Moshe Rabeinu was able to peer through the "Ispaklarya ha'Me'irah," while other prophets were able to see only through an "Ispaklarya she'Einah Me'irah," with a clouded vision. How are these two sources to be reconciled? (MAHARSHA)
(a) The MAHARSHA answers that the Midrash says only that no other prophet prophesied with the clarity of the "Ispaklarya ha'Me'irah." It does not refer to Talmidei Chachamim who achieved closeness with Hash-m through learning Torah. The Gemara in Bava Basra (12a) says that "Chacham Adif mi'Navi" -- a Torah scholar is greater than a prophet. Accordingly, there are Talmidei Chachamim who perceive Hash-m with great clarity through the "Ispaklarya ha'Me'irah" as a result of their Torah learning.
(b) The IYUN YAKOV, CHIDA (in Pesach Einayim), and SEFAS EMES answer that the Gemara here refers to Tzadikim who see Hash-m through the "Ispaklarya ha'Me'irah" after their deaths, for "greater is the Tzadik in his death than in his lifetime" (Chulin 7b). Moshe Rabeinu was the only one who saw Hash-m through the "Ispaklarya ha'Me'irah" during his lifetime.