I had a friend who was learning in Sh’or Yoshuv yeshiva. He told me so many nice things about it. I had to come check it out. The excitement and warmth in the yeshiva was palpable. I knew I had to join the yeshiva. When I came to apply, the mashgiach said they were full and I should come back next z’man, a half a year later. I heard there was an unwritten rule that if you show up every day for a few weeks and show you’re fully committed, you can gain entry.
Even though I knew it was only temporary, I had to sit and learn by myself the whole day until I could be officially admitted. I was just starting to learn, so it was difficult to sit the whole day. To ease the time, I brought some English sefarim and story books. One was Holy Brother about the life of Reb Shlomo Carlebach. A person learning next to me marveled, if this is what you do during learning time what do you do during relaxing time.
In the Gemara Sukkah 8b, Rebbi Levi quoted a case in the name of Rebbi Meir. If there are two potter’s huts, one within the other, the inner one is not a kosher sukkah and requires a mezuzah. The outer one is considered a sukkah and is exempt from a mezuzah. Rashi explains that the inner sukkah is technically good to use during Sukkos, but since he lives there the whole year it would not be recognizable that he is fulfilling the mitzvah during the chag, so he can’t use it as a sukkah. The outer one is good as a sukkah, Rashi explains, if he does not use it to live in during the year, but just as a passageway to get to the inner sukkah.
There are many words for money in the gemara. One is “zuzim.” Also, in Hebrew “lazuz” means to move. It shows how money is meant to move from person to person, buying and selling, etc. The word “mezuzah” has the word zuz in it as well. I was thinking there is a remez (hint) that our dwelling places are temporary compared to Olam Habah which lasts forever, so the mezuzah reminds us of that. This could be part of the reason a sukkah does not need a mezuzah. Since a sukkah is a diras aray, a temporary structure, we don’t need a reminder of the dwelling place being temporary compared to Olam Habah. Rav Yehuda holds that a sukkah needs to be built as a permanent structure. I was wondering would he require a mezuzah. I was very excited to find out that in the Gemara Yoma 10b he in fact requires a mezuzah for a sukkah.
As told in Holy Brother, once Reb Shlomo and some men were traveling to perform at a simcha. They were on the highway and the driver said, “Oops.” Reb Shlomo asked what’s wrong? The driver said that they were out of gas and soon they had to pull over on the highway. Reb Shlomo said to the driver: With your thoughts so heavenward how could you think of something so earthly as gas? He made the driver happy and removed the tension of the situation.
In the Gemara Sukkah 3b there is an argument between Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel in a case where a person is sitting in a sukkah with most of his body in (part of his legs are outside the sukkah) and his table is located in the house. This argument applies to a big sukkah and a small one that cannot even hold his table. Beis Shamai hold that a sukkah that is this minimum size is too small, and even if he has a big sukkah he can’t place the table in the house for fear he might be drawn after it and eat in the house. Beis Hillel allow this small sukkah and are not concerned that the person will be drawn after his table. I think we could say since Beis Shamai require a bigger than minimum sukkah a person could lose his clarity and stop concentrating on the spiritual and be drawn after the physical, i.e. the table. According to Beis Hillel since that minimum sukkah is allowed it enables you to have clarity and you will not be drawn after your sukkah.
The Tur asks: Since Sukkos commemorates our leaving Mitzrayim shouldn’t it be celebrated in Nissan? After going through Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and getting clarity that Hashem is our King and we are here to do his mitzvos, this is a good time to actualize these concepts and go live in a temporary dwelling because this is what our King wants. With our thoughts so heavenward, hopefully we will have less thoughts on earthly things. Have a chag samaech!