The Sukkah Man

October 16, 2019 at 11:20 AM ,

“…The festival of Sukkot you shall make for yourself for seven days…” – Devarim 16:13

חַג הַסֻּכֹּת תַּעֲשֶׂה לְךָ שִׁבְעַת יָמִים – דברים טז, יג

Several unique mitzvot are associated with the holiday of Sukkot, yet among them, the Torah calls the holiday Sukkot, naming it specifically for the obligation to dwell in a Sukkah for the duration of these seven days. This is because dwelling in a Sukkah is unique in the extent to which this mitzvah encompasses the individual, much more so than any other mitzvot of the holiday.

Most mitzvot involve an action performed by one or more specific parts of the body. The mitzvah to hold and wave the Four Species, for example, employs the hands; the mitzvah of Torah study engages the mind striving to understand its depth and the mouth that utters its holy words; and so on.

In contrast, the mitzvah to dwell in the Sukkah involves your entire body. In fact, this mitzvah encompasses every aspect of your daily life, because dwelling in the Sukkah means going about all your everyday affairs in the Sukkah, as you would in your regular home (see Shulchan Aruch Harav, Orach Chaim 639:4). This means that any activity you do is part of your fulfilment of this mitzvah, if you simply do it within the walls of a kosher Sukkah.

Moreover, our Sages teach that a man without a home is not a man (see Tosfos to Yevamos 63a); even when you are not inside your home, your place of dwelling gives you your full sense of being. Accordingly, the mitzvah of Sukkah extends even to when we are not inside its walls. Since the mitzvah isto make the Sukkah your home for the duration of the holiday, it follows that, even when you are outside its walls, your entire identity is associated with and defined by the Sukkah you call home.

—Likutei Sichos, vol. 2, pp. 417-418

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