Points to Ponder
Question from Rav Shteinman – Why do we hope to sit in Sukas Oro Shel Leviyasan if the skin of Leviyasan is Pasul for Schach?
Hazeh – In the sections of Yom Kippur and Sukkos in the Parshas HaMoadim, we stress the word “Hazeh” which we do not stress by the other holidays. Why? Rav Aharon Kotler ztl. suggested that there is one connection between these days and Rosh Hashana. The theme stretching on Teshuva. Rosh Hashana to Yom Kippur is the chance for man to open his eyes and be Mikabel Ol Malchus Shomayim on himself and Sukkos is the opportunity to see the Malchus Hashem in the entire world as he leaves his own abode and enters that world and holds it in his hand through the 4 minim. Rav Shneur Kotler ztl. added that this is also the secret of the double 10 day periods – the Aseres Yimei Teshuva M’Yirah and then the subsequent Aseres Yimei Teshuva M’Ahava from Motzai Yom Kippur until Hoshana Rabba.
The Sukkah of Sodom – The Yalkut Shimoni (Emor) notes that one who limits his pleasure in this world will merit the opportunity in the future to dwell in the Sukkah of Sodom. What is the connection between the Sukkah and Sodom? Rav Boruch Rosenberg ztl. Rosh Yeshiva of Slabodka suggested that in Sodom the Sukkah was made from the interlocking branches of 7 strong fruit bearing trees. It was the ultimate symbol of earthly pleasure and given the Sodom climate, was the source of year-round comfort. The Yalkut is teaching us that one who sits in this world eschewing the luxuries in favor of more long term goals will merit the long term benefit of sitting in a parallel Sukkah forever more.
Sukkos and Yaakov Aveinu - Rav Yehuda the brother of the Tur who noted that the holiday of Sukkos comes to us because of Yaakov who made Sukkos for his flocks. Rav Betzalel Radinsky ztl. explained that we understand why Pesach is a gift in return for Avraham’s sacrafices, after all – he sacrificed to welcome the Orchim on Pesach. We get Yitzchak’s connection to Shevuos because of the shofar of Har Sinai and that of the Akeida. But Yaakov builds some barns and pens and gets a holiday for it? Why? Ohr HaChaim explains that until Yaakov, no one had shown the Rachmanus on the animals alone with their own living quarters. The Sefer Chayeii Olam Nata adds that the reason Yaakov did this was as a result of Hakaras HaTov toward the animals who provide us with sustenance. Hakaras Hatov is one of the fundamentals of Yahadus (and specifically apparent during the Chag HaAsif) and very intrinsically linked to Yaakov who demonstrated it to the entire world.
The fallen Sukkah of Dovid – Why do we choose this image to portray the Mikdash? How about Agan HaSahar like in Shir HaShirim? Maharal in Netzach Yisrael explains that a house usually denotes something strong and powerful. However, once it falls, even if it is rebuilt, it is a different house. It can never be “rebuilt.” A house’s fall is complete and final, and putting it back up is impossible. A sukka, on the other hand, even though it can easily fall, can be put up again. Rav Yehuda Amital ztl. explained that the same is true of the Kingdom of Israel: it is fragile, falls easily, and doesn’t resist storms and shocks. But it always rises back up and stands on its feet again.