Looking into the Sukkah by David Pietruszka


            The holiday of Sukkot is a significant holiday in our Judaism.  When the Bet HaMikdash was still standing we brought various Korbanot, including a Korban Chagigah, which Bnei Yisrael would bring when they were עולה רגל, making a pilgrimage to Yerushalayim.  In essence, what does a Sukkah mean, what is this Mitzvah trying to teach us?

            The Gemara in Sukkah (דף יא.) discusses the פסוק that states כי בסוכות הושבתי את בני ישראל, about which Rabbi Eliezer says that the Sukkah that Bnei Yisrael lived in was made of ענני הכבוד, the clouds of glory that surrounded them in the desert.  Therefore, during Bnai Yisrael's time in the desert they had Hashem's Shechinah resting over them.  Bnei Yisrael were literally living in the Sukkah of the שכינה.  When Bnei Yisrael were in the desert they were dependent on Hashem for everything.  Their food, their clothing, their homes, and even their very survival was dependent on Hashem.  This is what a Sukkah is supposed to mean to us.  The Sukkah represents the Shechinah and the seven clouds over them that watched every step that Bnai Yisrael took.

            We must ask, if Hashem took us out of Mitzraim in Nissan, why do we celebrate in Tishrei?  The reason for this seemingly strange practice is that Hashem wants us to  sit in Sukkot for no other reason than the performance of the Mitzvah.  In the spring everyone leaves their homes, because the weather is warm.  If Sukkot was in the spring people will be going outside because they enjoy the good weather.  In the fall, however, the weather is colder so people are hesitant about leaving their homes, but on Sukkot they go out specifically for the Mitzvah, to remember the fact that Hashem took us out of Mitzraim.

             Many Mitzvot, for example Sukkot, remind us that our true dwelling place is in Olam Habah.  Therefore we must immerse ourselves in the mitzvah of Sukkah in order to  merit Olam HaBah.  When we make a Sukkah it is a sign of our closeness to Hashem.  Hashem says, "For one who makes a Sukkah this week I will make a Sukkah on your day of judgement to protect you."  Therefore it is written כי יצפנני בסוכה ביום רעה (תהילים כז:כ), that Hashem will provide a Sukkah for us on our days of difficulty, meaning our day of judgement. 

            The פסוק in VaYikrah ()כג:מב states בסוכות תשבו שבעת ימים, כל האזרח בישראל ישבו בסוכות - "You should dwell in the Sukkah for seven days and that every Jew should live in his Sukkah."  The Gemara in Sukkah (דף כז:) states, that on the first day of Sukkot you cannot use another's Lulav, because the Torah states ולקחתם לכם, but you can use someone else's Sukkah.  We learn from this that all of Israel is fit to live under one Sukkah.  If the Gemara believes that all of Bnei Yisrael are fit to live under one Sukkah, we too should try our hardest this year to live with people around us.  We should try to avoid conflicts with other people, and try to live in peace with everyone.  With this in mind, we should be able to hasten the coming of Mashiach Tzidkenu quickly in our days.

Connecting Heaven and Earth by Rabbi Darren Blackstein

The Korban Of Lulav by Akiva Marcus