Tonight we begin the Holiday of Succot, as we mark the period called “the time of our joy”. There are many reasons for this joy. For those gathering in crops, the joy of finally bringing in the produce after waiting so long, certainly caused great happiness. Not all of us, however, are farmers. What is the idea of joy that we are focusing on?
The Torah tells us that to celebrate this joy we are to leave our house and sit in the succah, a temporary dwelling, for seven days. What is this idea? Wouldn’t it be easier to feel joy in the comfort of our own home, instead of being out, exposed to the elements, in some rickety temporary dwelling? If we do have to leave the house, why must we be so careful to have a temporary type of covering, (scach) over our heads? Why can’t we have the comfort of at least installing a real ceiling in our succah?
The idea of the succah is that we sit under the protection of Hashem. Just as the Jews who traveled in the desert had only Hashem who was protecting them, so to in reality we really depend on only Hashem to protect us. Who can guarantee our health and well being, and that of our family? How many people end up in hospitals, or dealing with Doctors, in an unexpected turn of events? Who can guarantee our financial security, our job, our income? Who can guarantee our safety and security, in Israel and abroad, from those who wish to hurt and harm us?
This is the message of the succah. Not just in the desert – today too each and every one of us stands under the protection of Hashem. This is the true source of joy that we all feel on Succos – we have a caring loving Father Who watches over us at every single moment!! What greater joy could there be in life than to feel that every single thing that happens to us in life is for our benefit!! Nothing could be better !! Wow!!