web analytics
September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Divine Protection (Daf Yomi Sukkah)


Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

The Torah proclaims the 15th day of Tishrei the beginning of the seven-day festival of Sukkot and requires that during that time we dwell in booths. Typically, the Torah gives no reason for its commandments and we are left to fathom them for ourselves. But the mitzvah of sukkah has a stated reason: “That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt.”

If the holiday of Sukkot commemorates the exodus from Egypt, which took place in the first month of Nisan, why are we told to dwell in booths in the seventh month of Tishrei? The answer may lie in mystery the Torah invests in the number seven. On the seventh day of each week we dedicate time, that precious and irretrievable asset, to God. And in return God shelters us in His cloud, where the pressures of time are suspended for the day.

Give and take is the essence of every relationship, including that of God and man. But when we came out of Egypt, we did not understand that. The wealth we accumulated from the Egyptians on the way out was invested in the golden calf. And so God summoned back His cloud of protection and left us to the pressures of our own possessions. It was only in the seventh month of Tishrei, when Moses returned from the mountain of God with the gift of amnesty, that we finally agreed to donate our cherished possessions to the building of God’s house rather than our own.

Between the eleventh and the fifteenth days of Tishrei, the Jews busied themselves with the building of the Mishkan, God’s residence. When the Mishkan was completed on the eve of the fifteenth day of Tishrei, God and man renounced their respective permanent residences. God descended from his lofty residence and resided in the House we built for Him. And we leave behind the house we built ourselves and reside in the sukkah He builds for us.

What were the desert sukkot made of? Some maintain they were God’s clouds that protected us from the elements as we trudged through the desert. Others say they were real booths we built ourselves. The Netziv suggests that both opinions are right. According to him, when the Jews encamped, they built their own sukkot. And when they were on the move, God protected them with His Cloud of Glory. Indeed the very construction of the sukkah seems to incorporate both opinions. The roof must be made of natural vegetation, unprocessed and unused by man, and like all Godly things it must be of a substance that cannot be contaminated.

Without the roof there is no sukkah. But without the walls there is no roof. In fact, the walls must be erected first or else the sukkah is disqualified. Just as the Shabbat is a joint venture in time between God and man, so too the sukkah is a joint venture in space between God and man. This perhaps explains why so many of the fundamental laws of eruvin (tzurat hapetach, lavud, gud asik, korah and lechi), are derived from the laws of Sukkot. When we are on the move in life, exiled from place to place, we turn to God, our Partner, for the protection of His cloud. When we are given the luxury of settling down, God turns to us, His partner, for the protection of our walls. Perhaps that is why the Ushpizin, the guests Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph and David, who according to the Kabbalah reside with us in our sukkot, feel so at home there – for they knew a nomadic existence in which they shared their fragile homes with God and God with them.

On the first two nights of Sukkot, eating in the sukkah is a Torah requirement that must be fulfilled. A person may not say, “I would rather skip dinner altogether and not eat in the sukkah.” One must, unless one is sick, have dinner in the sukkah.

On the other days of Sukkot there is no Torah requirement to eat in the sukkah, and one may decide (except on Shabbat and Yom Tov) to skip all meals and eat fruit or snacks outside the sukkah. Regular meals, however, must be eaten in the sukkah.

If it rains on the first two nights, one should wait a while – some say up to two hours – until it stops and then enter the sukkah, unless it is clear it will not stop. If one cannot wait, or if the rain will not stop, one enters the sukkah, recites Kiddush and Shehecheyanu, does not recite Leshev Basukkah, washes ones hands, eats some bread and returns indoors to eat. If it stops raining before one retires to bed, one returns to the sukkah, recites Leshev Basukkah, eats some bread and recites Birchat Hamazon.

Some see rain on Sukkot as Divine rejection. Others see it as Divine acceptance. After all, on Sukkot we pray for rain.

About the Author: Raphael Grunfeld’s book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Moed” (distributed by Mesorah) is available at OU.org and your local Jewish bookstore. His new book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Nashim & Nezikin,” will be available shortly.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Divine Protection (Daf Yomi Sukkah)”

  1. Gary Harper says:

    More Goy should read this. An excellent explanation of the concept of the true shelter.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The beheading of British aid worker David Haines, Sept. 14, 2014. The terrorist standing beside him threatened that his fellow British aid volunteer, Alan Henning, would be next if UK Prime Minister David Cameron doesn't relinquish his support for the fight against ISIS.
British Muslims Plead for ISIS to Free Captive Alan Henning
Latest Judaism Stories
nitzavim

As Moshe is about to die, why does God tell him about how the Israelites will ruin everything?

Jonah and the Whale (2012) 23 x 23, bronze relief by Lynda Caspe.

Jonah objected to God accepting repentance based on ulterior motives and likely for short duration.

15th century Book of the Torah

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

Leff-091214

All Jews are inherently righteous and that is why we all have a portion in the World to Come.

If mourning is incompatible with Yom Tov, why is it not incompatible with Shabbat?

Since it is a Rabbinic prohibition we may follow the more lenient opinion.

How can the Torah expect me today, thousands of years after the mitzvahs were given, to view each mitzvah as if I’m fulfilling it for the first time?

Torah isn’t a theological treatise or a metaphysical system but a series of stories linked over time

In contrast to her Eicha-like lamentations of the previous hour or more, however, my youngest was now grinning from ear-to-ear.

An Astonishing Miracle
‘Why Bring the Infants to Hakhel?’
(Chagigah 3a)

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

e are in a time of serious crisis and must go beyond our present levels of chesed.

According to Ibn Ezra, the Torah was stressing through this covenant that hypocrisy was forbidden.

“Tony said that the code in most places in the U.S. is at least 36 inches for a residential guardrail,” replied Mr. Braun. “Some make it higher, 42, or even 52 inches for high porches. What is the required height according to halacha?”

Simcha is total; sahs is God’s joy in protecting us even when we are most vulnerable.

More Articles from Raphael Grunfeld
Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

If mourning is incompatible with Yom Tov, why is it not incompatible with Shabbat?

On Chol HaMoed some work is prohibited and some is permitted. According to some opinions, the work prohibition is biblical; according to others, it’s rabbinical.

Based on the opinion of the Ramban, the Territorial School believes that leaving any territory of the Land of Israel in the possession of non-Jews is a violation of a biblical mandate.

To properly fulfill the mitzvah of listening to the megillah, each word must be heard.

If the only person available to perform the milah on the eighth day is a person who is not an observant Jew, the milah should be postponed until a devout mohel is available.

The kohen gadol may not enter the Temple unless his hair is cut every seven days.

A commonly employed and permissible device regarding the prohibition of wearing fresh clothes during the Nine Days is to don them for a moment or two before the Nine Days.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/divine-protection-daf-yomi-sukkah/2014/02/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: