Monday, October 13, 2008

The Dimensions of the Sukkah

The Likutei Halachos zt”l writes that the dimensions of the sukkah represent the different ways in which different people grasp spirituality. A sukkah is kosher if it is at least ten tefachim high. This minimal dimension represents the grasp of a simple person. Every complete spiritual unit comprises ten increments, representing the ten sefiros. The simple person manifests this basic ten-dimensional building unit of every tzelem Elokim in a “smaller” manner. The Torah scholar, on the other hand, has a greater grasp—represented by the height of ten amos. A person whose knowledge is constantly growing is always bringing his mental potential into actuality. It is as though he has the ten amos of his sukkah of understanding plus another ten amos of potential that he is about to inhabit. Twenty amos is the absolute maximum height of the sukkah because anyone who tries to grasp beyond his mental capacity invariably falls. This is because most falls are caused by trying to do more than we realistically can or should. As the Zohar says “too much oil extinguishes the lamp.”
If we build a platform, however, the sukkah is kosher even above this height. The platform represents rising to a higher spiritual level, which opens up new horizons of potential. As long as we are standing on the platform of genuine spiritual growth, we are in a kosher sukkah.
On the first night of Sukkos, Rav Moshe of Kovrin zt”l was standing in his sukkah, profoundly moved by the holiness of the day and this special mitzvah.
He said, “The walls of the sukkah appear to be of wood, and the s’chach looks like a bunch of branches. But the truth is that every part of the sukkah embodies holy names of Hashem. Every element of the sukkah has deep kabbalistic meaning! My own Rebbe said: with this mitzvah we enter into holiness with our shoes on! He meant that even the mundane human needs of the simplest Jew are transformed into lofty mitzvos through the sukkah. We eat and drink and sleep, and it is all a mitzvah!”

2 comments:

Spiritual Dan said...

Beautiful, thank you!

Not really related, but I'm wondering the connection between the beautification of the mitzvah of the sukkah and the esrog, and the spirituality thereof. If we didn't luck out and our esrog is not as nice as it could be, how can we put the frustration aside and achieve the same high level of spirituality from the mitzvah? I guess it's related to your post: even if you have a halachic sukka, what's to say your spirituality couldn't be yet higher if you had beautified it more?

Micha said...

My pleasure; I am glad you enjoyed it.
You asked such an excellent question I decided to post the answer. Ya'asher koach!