Shabbos Succos

This week is Shabbos Succos. In our prayers we constantly refer to Succos as Zman Simchosainu – the time of our joy. Yet, we celebrate the Holiday by moving out of our house into a temporary dwelling called a Succah. In Jewish law this dwelling must be temporary in nature. If it is built in any form that is too solid, it becomes invalid and unfit for use as a Succah. The reason for us living in a temporary dwelling, leaving our permanent homes, is to recall the clouds of Glory that surrounded the Jews when they left Egypt and traveled through the desert approximately 3,000 years ago. We leave our homes to sit under the direct protection of Hashem, with no other form of protection over us. Yet, as we do so, we call the Holiday the happiest time of the year. Isn’t there an obvious question here? Wouldn’t we be more happy to sit in the comfort of our house, protected from the elements, without having bees fly around us, with heating or air conditioning as needed? Why does the idea of sitting in the Succah provide us or help us feel joy?

When Succos comes, the lesson we are taught, first and foremost, is that a Jew always sits under the protection of Hashem. Just as the Jews in the dessert seemed to be totally without any protection, but in truth were under the constant direct protection of Hashem, so too we are always under His constant care. Regardless of what economic indicators show, regardless of what financial experts or medical experts say, we know that we are under His care and supervision. Whatever comes our way is a direct message or communication from a Caring and Giving Father. Imagine, for a moment, that our father or mother had the ability to absolutely control all that would come our way. Would they ever want anything but the best for us, their child? Well, we do have this for real, only in an even better way!! Not are we under the care of a parent who thinks they know what is best for us, we are under the control of the One who really knows what is best for us!!

In this context, the Succah does provide the deepest, most meaningful, and joyous message of all: There is nothing to fear, nothing to worry about, no reason for concern. While we are responsible to try to do the best in life, we are secure in the knowledge that everything that happens in life is exactly as it was and is meant to be. We sit this week, and our whole life, under the direct protection of the most Caring and Powerful Being in the universe. This is the true source of the outpouring of joy that emanates from every Jewish home on this Holiday: The freedom from the worries, insecurities, fears, frustrations, and uncertainty that envelopes so much of mankind are put aside to rest as we focus on the happiness of knowing that we are always under the watchful eye of our Creator.