I would like to share some of the ideas that I discussed at the Yeshivas Bein Hazmanim, culled from my grandfather’s sefer Michamos Yehuda, and can serve as an important lesson to take along with us for the entire year.
Sukkos is the yom tov that helps us put into perspective our purpose in this world. The sukah is a temporary abode, reminding us that our stay in this world is relatively short term.
The 7-day “training period” of living in the sukah is meant to help put things into perspective, to remind us not to get carried away with acquiring material assets, building fancy homes, and driving the latest model vehicles. Rather, one should remain focused on our purpose in this world, a place to accomplish one’s mission, and therefore be content with meeting our basic physical necessities. In fact, he explains, this can be why Sukos is considered the ultimate zman simchaseinu – the time of happiness – because one who is samei’ach b’chelko, happy with what he has, is truly considered wealthy, since he is content and not always looking for more.
The sukah teaches us that this world is a place of preparation, like a hallway, where one prepares to go into the grand ballroom. How silly one would be to sit around in the reception area and forget about his purpose of coming, to enjoy the wedding. Similary, we must constantly remember that we are in this world to serve Hashem and thereby merit eternal bliss in the World to Come.
He adds that this can be why we find a specific point in beautifying the sukah. This is for us to show that we are indeed content with the simple, and we appreciate the splendor and grandeur that exist in a humble and simple dwelling.
Thus, the message that we take with us as we bid farewell to the yom tov of Sukos is to remember that the materialistic world is not here as an ends in itself, but rather as a means to accomplish what we are here in this world for: to serve Hashem and thereby earn our eternal rewards.
By Rabbi Nachum Scheiner
Rabbi Nachum Scheiner of Bais Medrash Ohr Chaim has been raising the bar of Torah learning with great success throughout the Monsey community. Rabbi Scheiner heads the Kollel Boker, the Evening Kollel, the Sunday morning Halacha Chabura, Yeshivas Bein Hazmanim, Yarchei Kallahs on legal Holidays, and the Friday morning Shovavim Learning.