1. Among the laws of the Sukkah, there are a number of interesting and very strange laws.  Jewish law allows us to imagine a complete sukkah when only part of the sukkah is there.  For example, if the wall of the sukkah comes within 24 centimeters of the ground, we imagine that it is on the ground.  There are many other examples. As long as the technical criteria are met, one could say that the structure of the sukkah only exists in our minds. Is this similar to cheating, or is it a deep understanding of halachah—Jewish law?
  • The laws of whether the lulav and etrog are kosher involve many details. In fact, many matters of Jewish law are very detailed.  Many in our tradition say that the Torah is trying to make us into people with expanded minds and wide visions. If so, then why must we be involved in so many details?
  • [Sukkot] Rabbi Nachman says that sukkah, and prayer with concentration and the land of Israel all represent the same idea. What do these three commandments have in common?
  • Normative Jewish law tells us to spend time in the sukkah and also to sleep in the sukkah (if the weather allows it).  There are Chassidim who do not sleep in the sukkah because they say that the sukkah is too holy for sleeping activities. What might be the philosophical argument between these two points of view?
  •  [Haftara: 1st day: Zecharia 14:9] “…on that day Hashem will be one and His name will be one.”   What is meant by the name of God (Y-H-V-H)? What is meant by “…on that day God will be one and His name will be one”?

Commentary

We say in our prayers, “Spread over us the sukkah of peace”. The sukkah is special to us even though it may be missing parts—it may have only two walls and a small part of the third wall;  the wall may not reach totally down to the ground, and so on. The matter of peace is similar. Peace is precious and positive even if it is not perfect.  One should try to achieve peace even in a partial way—between people, between the individual and the community, or between nations. We pray for peace, even if it’s only like a sukkah (which is not totally perfect). That’s how great peace is.

–R. Avraham Y. H. Kuk, 1865-1935, Lithuania and Israel

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Rivkah Rochel bat Ya’akov haLevi and Chaya Kornberg, and Yechiel Eliezer ben Yitzchok Meir and Rochel Laya Kornberg

And this study page is also dedicated to the memory cof Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker