Succot 2006

Tonight we begin the holiday of Succos, or Succot. For seven days the Torah tells us to leave the comfort of our homes to go into the Succah. The succcah, we are taught, must be made in a temporary manner. It may not be the house that we live in all year. The roof over our heads canít be made from any man made or processed item. We try to make sure that there are openings in it so that we can see the heavens. As we leave the comfort of our home to stay in this temporary structure, exposing ourselves to the elements, we are taught that this time of the year is our time of joy. At first glance this is quite puzzling. If Succos is our time of joy, why are we told to put ourselves in a situation that would seem to lead to anything but being happy? Wouldnít it be more conducive to the spirit of the day if we would celebrate the holiday inside our home? What does the succah really teach us? We are taught that the reason for the Succah is to remember the clouds of glory that G-d brought to protect us when we traveled through the desert when we left Egypt. This lesson, that G-d watches us and protects us, is really the lesson of the Succah. When we sit in the succah, under the covering of the succah and under the sky, we are really sitting under the divine protection of G-d. The eternal lesson that we are reminded of every year is that we our security is not the roof of our house. Retirement plans, 401ks, good Doctors, insurance, or any other human protection canít really assure our well being. Who can guarantee good health to us and our family? Who can guarantee our financial success? Who can guarantee happiness, peace, or serenity? Who can guarantee life itself? It is only Hashem Who watches over us and protects us that can give us all these things. This is the true joy of Succos, that we recognize a father Who cares for us, loves us, and watches over us. We leave the false protection of our home to sit in His shelter. This fact, that we have the best protection and care possible in the world, is the cause of the tremendous feeling of joy that we feel as we enter the Succah. Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy Succos!!! Rabbi Moshe Travitsky