It’s Only Temporary

October 12, 2019 at 3:14 PM ,

“…..In Sukkahs you shall dwell for seven days…..”- Vayikra 23:42

The Torah commands, “For all seven days, leave your permanent dwelling and dwell in a temporary dwelling” – Talmud: Sukkah 2A

״…..בסוכות תשבו שבעת ימים, אמרה תורה כל שבעת הימים צא מדירת קבע ושב בדירת עראי” – מסכת סוכה ב,ב


In a certain sense, the mitzvah of Sukkah has the distinction of being the first mitzvah on the “accounts” of the new year. We cleanse ourselves on Yom Kippur from all our shortcomings of the past, and then start a fresh slate with the mitzvah of constructing and dwelling in a Sukkah. This prestige implies that the Sukkah represents a general message about the impact that Torah and mitzvos must have on the individual.

The Torah tells us that our forefather Yaakov “built for himself a house, but for his cattle he made booths – sukkahs” (Beraishis 33:17). We invest in permanent shelters to protect what is most important in our lives, but for the ancillary and less important aspects of life temporary booths are enough.

We fulfill the mitzvah of Sukkah by doing in a temporary Sukkah, to whatever extent possible, all activities which we’d normally do inside a proper home or structure. This serves to remind us, that while engaged in all our material and worldly pursuits throughout the coming year, we must constantly remember and feel that all our physical affairs are like a Sukkah, secondary and temporary. Feelings of permanence and significance must be accorded only to our spirituality, to the Divine mission for which we have each come to this world.

—Reshimos 62, pp. 20-21


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