When thousands of katyusha rockets were falling in Eretz Yisrael, there were many I’m sure who wished there was some way to put a “protective roof” over the entire country. In the last few years we have lost life and land all in the name of “security” and yet have found it to be an illusive goal. It continues to elude those who try to achieve it in a natural way, but if we seek it under Torah guidance, we will find direction as well as assistance from a mitzvah that defies all of our concepts of security. What is that mitzvah, you may ask? It is the mitzvah of sukkah.
Through the year we dwell in homes that are solidly constructed to provide us with insulation, protection and privacy. The security we experience in these dwellings is a paradigm for the external reality of nature, which cloaks the Creator‘s essence within it. When we leave our homes to dwell in the Sukkah, we are proclaiming that we desire to relinquish our man-made “security” for true Divine protection.
The succah is a conduit of holiness affording a unique and incomparable spiritual shelter with its halachic dimensions and regulations designed to effectuate that goal. One of the fascinating halachas of the succah (lavud) declares a wall to be kosher even when there exists a gap of up to three tefachim between the wall and the ground as long as the remaining halachic requirements for the walls are met. Our Sages inform us that a space of three tefachim or more would enable a (g’di) a kid goat, to be able to creep underneath the wall. What is the significance of the fact that the standard of measure is a g’di? A possible explanation may be found in understanding the attributes of the g’di and in the seemingly unconnected “assaults” upon Yerushalayim that occurred a few years ago. Yes, that’s right, the attempted assaults against Jerusalem as we will soon see.
Viewed from this prospective, two incidents which occurred in the summer of last year take on a very different coloration. One was a scheduled event that did not, Baruch Hashem, take place and the other was an unscheduled event that did occur. R’l. The scheduled event was a march and rallies planned and promoted by the proponents of certain lifestyles that brazenly defy Torah law. This rally was to take place in Yerushalayim for seven days in Chodesh Av. The “unscheduled event” was the military conflict which escalated into a war during the same period which was ostensibly launched against Hezbollah for the return two soldiers that they had abducted. The month long conflict ended with a cease fire, but without the return of the captured soldiers. On the surface the entire military engagement may seem to have been futile; however the conflict did achieve at least one unforeseen goal as it served as the catalyst for the cancellation of the march and rally.
The holy city of Jerusalem, like the sukkah, is (when we merit it) surrounded not only by physical walls but also is privy to Divine protection. However, these spiritually protective walls do not tolerate the encroachment of anyone who attempts to defy their sanctity. Our Sages have given us the gauge for measuring such abhorrent behavior through the symbolism of the g’di , a young goat (az) whose trait arrogance (azut).
Hence the attempted intrusion of the holy city of Yerushalayim by the ultra liberal left was fortunately cancelled. Nothing less than the withdrawal from Gaza was the rational cause for the cancellation of the march and rally at that time. Last year they again attempted to breech the holy “walls” of Jerusalem; because of the “redeeming” factor of the war this rally too was cancelled.
How was the war with Hizbullah connected to the spiritual “war” with the marchers and the halachic boundaries of the Sukkah ? The s’chach that covers our Sukkah must be thick enough to provide more shade than sun, yet not loose its halachic porous quality. This perhaps indicates that we should always remain under the “shade”/ guidance and protection of only Hashem and give no credibility, power or independence to ideologies that may offer some perceived glimmer of “light”.
The Torah clearly warns us that the power of our enemies derives not from their tactics or military might but from our failure to uphold the honor of Hashem by keeping His Torah properly. This breach in Eretz Israel can only exist if our “walls of faith”, which supports the protective s’chach, becomes weakened. What is the solution for us in the future to prevent such a tragedy? By keeping our “walls” of faith and purity intact by not allowing any unholiness to breach our lives then the spiritual “s’chach” of Divine protection will become impenetrable to any potentially harmful forces.
Each of the seven days of succah is a unique time to connect with the different aspects of kedusha ,exemplified through the seven shepard’s of the Jewish nation (Ushpizin). Each of our righteous forefathers continues to positively influence all the future generations aiding us to bend (dofin ha-koma) towards the altruistic service of Hashem thereby drawing down holiness as well as protecting us from all negative influences.
Our adversaries scheduled a seven day rally as a statement of “defiance”, whereas we dwell in the succah for seven days as a proclamation of “compliance” May we merit the building of Sukkas David soon in our days.
- ELEVATION OF THE SOUL – THE DESIGNATION OF THE LEVIIM TODAY
- A LINGUISTIC JOURNEY ON NOACH’S ARK