Ven a ganef kisht darf men zich di tsein ibertseilen.

Why Are You Building a Sukkah?



Here’s an interesting little piece of information for those who scorn rabbinic decree: Building a Succah anywhere but in Jerusalem is not a commandment from the Torah. It is, however, a commandment from the rabbis.

Deuteronomy 16:16 “Three times a year your males shall appear before HASHEM, your God, in the place that He will choose: on the Festival of Matzot, the Festival of Shavuot, and the Festival of Sukkot….”

It is important to understand what is meant by “in the place that He will choose”. What mysterious place is this? It seems there is a clue in Deuteronomy 16:5-6 … “You may not slaughter the pesach-offering in one of your cities that HASHEM your God, gives you; except at the place that HASHEM your God, will choose to rest His Name, there shall you slaughter the pesach-offering in the afternoon, when the sun descends, the appointed time of your departure from Egypt.”

Thus traditionally, Israel has three pilgrimages to Jerusalem; Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot. Since the Temple has been destroyed, the celebration of these three pilgrimage festivals was kept alive by rabbinic decree…those pesky fellows.

I, for one, am grateful to our wise Sages ZT”L. It is also important to note that according to the Torah, rabbinic decrees are binding on all Jews everywhere.

Chag Sukkot sameach.

Photo of Sukkah: The Gifted Photographer’s Photostream


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