Learning from Life in the Succah

Question

What is the message of dwelling in a Succah booth?

1 month

Answers

  1. Jewish sources describe numerous messages to be learned from dwelling in a Succah booth on the festival of Succot. Here is one message that I think is a particularly fitting one this year of the novel viral pandemic.

    Jewish law describes the Succah as a temporary dwelling. Leaving our permanent houses with solid walls and roofs to live in a flimsy booth with a roof of branches is a dramatic statement that the material world is not all that life is about. By living in the Succah we declare that the entire physical world is temporary. The only possessions that we have forever are the soul and its spiritual accomplishments.

    It was certainly within God’s power to build five-star hotels and spas for the Jewish People in the Sinai desert. Why, then, did He put them in thatched huts? Because He wanted them, and us, to understand that there is no permanence to the physical world. Focusing only on material attainments — a house, a car, another house, another car — is not our ultimate purpose in life. By living in the Succah we are hopefully bringing this message “home” to ourselves, as an understanding that will impact our lives.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team