BS”D For Sukkot 5776
An excerpt from my book “With All Your Might” dealing with the holiday of Sukkot:
Reb Yisrael and his sons erected their succah adjacent to the kitchen door, as they had done for many years.
But this year was different. Reb Yisrael had just learned from his rabbi that one of the reasons for residing temporarily in a succah is in case one’s destiny was to be expulsion into galut on Rosh Hashana, then the departure from the comforts of home into the succah should be considered to be that galut.
Reb Yisrael, his wife and children left the warm comforts of their beautiful house and entered the succah with the knowledge that by taking up temporary residence therein, they would be absolved of any galut-related sins.
As the family continued to reside in the succah, they got quite used to the pleasant smell of the schach and the pretty pictures on the walls and the overhanging decorations and were content to remain there even after the chag! They were able to peer into their permanent home with its luxurious amenities, electrical gadgets, state-of-the-art under-floor heating units, thick hanging drapes, lush carpets and much more, but entertained no interest in returning there.
As odd as it may seem, the family became accustomed to the crowded cold interior of the succah. Their relatives and neighbors tried to point out the irrationality of what they were doing, but the very idea that this was galut did little to encourage them to return to their spacious home.
When their rabbi came to visit, it was surprising that he encouraged them to remain in the succah rather than to return home; because it was in the succah that the family felt comfortable and closely knit.
In the meantime, several strangers noticed that the previously brightly-lit home was vacant, and they decided to move in as if it were indeed their own!
Reb Yisrael and his wife and children saw the strangers living in the house; but in veneration for the succah, they stubbornly bonded with the thin walls and dried-out schach and refused to leave.
The whole thing was so absurd. To leave such a beautiful home for the feeble, fallible construction of the succah, despite the fact that their beautiful home was beckoning was beyond the understanding of any rational person.
Then came the stones thrown by the local anti-Semites who wanted to rid the neighborhood of this eye-sore, but Reb Yisrael and his family dodged them one by one and steadfastly remained in their fragile dwelling.
Then came the terrible night when one third of the succah was torched by the local bullies.
Reb Yisrael and his family were aware of what was happening, but their minds had become so warped that no amount of reasoning could move them.
To them the succah was home and their home was galut.
Eventually the succah came crashing down, killing Reb Yisrael and his entire family – in their beloved galut!