Shabbat Parashat Ha'azinu-Succot | 5769
Porous Protection from Above
Parashat HaShavuahHarav Yosef Carmel
It is not too hard to find a connection between our parasha and the upcoming holiday of Sukkot. “He found it (the Israelite nation) in a land of desert and in desolation, a howling wilderness; He surrounded it, He gave it wisdom, He protected it like the pupil of an eye. As an eagle wakes its nest, hovering over its young, it spreads its wings and takes it and carries it on its pinions” (Devarim 32:10-11).
Most commentaries understand these p’sukim as referring to the caring protection that Hashem provided for Bnei Yisrael as they left
This picture is bolstered by the specifications of the related sukka. While the Torah refers here to a surrounding from all sides, which indicates the element of protection, the word sukka refers to the covering on top. Indeed, the halachot of detailed requirements for the materials and structure of the sukka relate to its roof and, for the most part, not to its walls. Why put the stress specifically on the roof?
While the protection from all around is worthwhile to remember, the Torah is telling us that it has to be put into proper context to be fully appreciated. The Torah, which made us a wise nation, was at the heart of the desert experience. Also, the most important cloud may well have been the one from above. It did protect from the sun and other dangers from above. However, it was not like a roof, which eliminates contact with that which is above, requiring light to enter the structure through side windows. Rather, while the cloud provided shade from the blinding light of the shechina (Divine Presence) above, it allowed some sunlight and rain to come through. So too, the s’chach is a flimsy covering that enables us to feel the presence of the “loving mother bird hovering above us,” seeing to our welfare - physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
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Hemdat Yamim of this week
R ' Meir ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfel
Hemdat Yamim is endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker of
and Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l.