web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Divine Protection (Daf Yomi Sukkah)


Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

Share Button

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.

Share Button

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.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

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

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Judaism Stories
Reiss-041814-King

Amazingly, each and every blade was green and moist as if it was just freshly cut.

PTI-041814

All the commentaries ask why Hashem focuses on the Exodus as opposed to saying, “I am Hashem who created the entire world.”

Leff-041814

Someone who focuses only on the bones of the Torah makes his bones dry and passionless.

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]

The tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries.

“Who is wise? One who learns from each person” (Pirkei Avot 4:1)

In Judaism, to be without questions is a sign not of faith, but of lack of depth.

“I’ll try to help as we can,” said Mr. Goodman, “but we already made a special appeal this year. Let me see what other funds we have. I’ll be in touch with you in a day or two.”

Rashi is bothered by the expression Hashem used: “the Jews need only travel.”

Reckoning Time
‘Three Festivals, Even Out Of Order’
(Beizah 19b)

Two husbands were there to instruct us in Texas hold ‘em – and we needed them.

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

A few background principles regarding the prohibitions of chametz mixtures on Pesach may provide some shopping guidance.

According to the Rambam, the k’nas applies to any chametz on Pesach with which one could, in theory, transgress the aveirah – even if no transgression actually occurred.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

More Articles from Raphael Grunfeld
Grunfeld-Raphael-NEW

A few background principles regarding the prohibitions of chametz mixtures on Pesach may provide some shopping guidance.

Grunfeld-Raphael-NEW

The prohibition of chametz on Pesach means that chametz may not be eaten or enjoyed, may not be owned or possessed, and must be removed from one’s premises.

Whether a month is chaser or maleh makes a crucial difference to our Jewish lives. If, for example, one mistakenly believed the month of Elul was maleh when in fact it was chaser, one might find oneself eating on Yom Kippur and fasting on a weekday. If one mistakenly believed the month of Adar was maleh when in fact it was chaser, one might find oneself eating bread on Pesach.

The lulav symbolizes the backbone, the etrog, the heart, the hadas the eyes, and the arava the lips moving in the service of God.

Although the Torah only commands us to pick up the arba minim, the rabbis require that we wave them in all four directions of the compass as well as upward and downward.

Is a shomer aveidah considered a shomer chinam or a shomer sachar?

The equivalent of the “OU” kashrut certification in England is that of the London Beit Din. There is also a competing kashrut certification called Kedassia. Those who eat Kedassia do not eat Beit Din.

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.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: