Beit Midrash

  • Shabbat and Holidays
  • Sukkot
To dedicate this lesson

The Torah study is dedicatedin the memory of

Asher Ben Haim



Rabbi Binyamin Walfish

In Sefer Vayikra, Chapter 22, the Torah commands us about Shabbat and the holidays. When the Torah sets forth the laws of Sukkot, the Torah adds the following: "When you gather in the crop of the land" (39)... "And you shall rejoice before Hashem your God"(40)... "You shall dwell in Sukkot for a seven day period: every native (ezrach) in Israel shall dwell in Sukkot" (42).

The Haamek Davar (Rav Naftali Tzvi Berlin) explains that when the Jews gathered in the yield of the land it was natural for them to be joyous. Therefore the Torah states that when you celebrate Sukkot it will be different from every other holiday because it is the season of the ingathering of the crops and will therefore bring you much joy. Besides being a reminder of the Exodus from Egypt like Pesach, Sukkot has the added dimension of being a holiday which celebrates the produce of Eretz Yisrael.

The Haamek Davar continues that one might have thought that since we are celebrating the produce of the land, the laws of Sukkot should only apply to a landowner who is happy because of the ingathering of his crops. But a poor man who owns no land or a convert who received no inheritance would not be required to dwell in a Sukka. Therefore the Torah states that every native shall dwell in Sukkot.

It thus becomes obvious that the possession of Eretz Yisrael, the joy in reaping the benefits of its produce, the privilege of living in Eretz Yisrael all add a dimension of joy and significance to the holiday of Sukkot over and above the joy and significance of any of the other holidays.

Come celebrate Sukkot with us. Better still, come live in Eretz Yisrael and experience the joy and wonder of being connected to our land.

This is a weekly column contributed by Aloh Naaleh an organization devoted to motivating Jews to make Aliya.
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