Divrei Torah

The Divrei Torah in this section have been translated by Rav Reuven Ungar, Director of Alumni Affairs

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Sukkot and The Land of Israel

By: Rav Yechezkel Yakovson
Rosh Yeshivat Sha'alvim

"And his Sukkah was in Shalem; His Dwelling Place in Zion" (Psalms 76).

The comment of the Vilna Gaon concerning this verse is famous. The verse compares the mitzvoth of residing in a sukkah and settling the Land of Israel. One's entire being enters a sukkah and resides in the Land of Israel. Normally, a specific limb performs a mitzvah or the mitzvah is accomplished by a specific action. In these two mitzvoth, the mere presence of a person in a sukkah or the Land of Israel fulfills constitutes a fulfillment of the mitzvah.

King David remarked "He will hide me in His sukkah on a difficult day". Precisely the sukkah-not a house- served as a refuge for King David in harrowing times. Although a sukkah is a temporary dwelling (lacking a bona fide roof), it nevertheless is His sukkah- The Holy One Blessed Be He. Thus it is truly the safest refuge.

At times, our existence in the Land of Israel appears tenuous. However we are confident that this land is the sukkah and dwelling place of Hashem. Not only does this knowledge grant us the security of "taking refuge on a difficult day"; it infuses us with spiritual strength to face the challenges of weaknesses that stem from internal weakness (the pilots' letter).

An individual who does not disengage the Land of Israel and the Jewish Nation from its roots, one who analyzes the struggle over The Land with a Torah perspective- he will merit to sit in the shadow of The Holy One Blessed Be He (Tzila DeMehemnuta). This will lead to "raising my head over the enemy that surrounds me". With joy and without pangs of conscience we will fulfill "slaughtering in His tent offerings of Teruah".


Categorized under: 1: Chagim > Sukkot
Uploaded: 10/16/2005 7:19:26 AM