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Wednesday, October 4

The Weekly Shtikle - Sukkos

A hearty Weekly Shtikle mazal tov to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Aharon & Rachelle Yeres & Family of Cedarhust, NY on the birth of a baby girl, Sima Tova. Mazal tov to the extended Yeres, Frankel & Stark Families


As part of the requisite mitzvos pertaining to Sukkos, we are told (Vayikra 23:42) "You shall dwell in sukkos for a seven day period." Interestingly, the word sukkos is in plural. The first inclination would be that this is because the nation as a whole will dwell, collectively, in many sukkos. However, the adjacent pasuk referring to the mitzvah of the four species refers to the esrog as pri eitz hadar in singular form, despite the fact that the nation as a whole will be taking many. In fact, it is further puzzling that the rest of the species are referred to in the plural. The hadassim and aravos are understandable. But the lulav, of which we only take one, is also in plural.


For now, I would like to address only the discrepancy in the wording of sukkos. There is a significant difference between the mitzvah of sukkah and that of lulav and esrog. The mitzvah to take a lulav and esrog is very personal and private in nature. This is epitomized by the fact that one must own his own four species and cannot fulfill the mitzvah with someone else's.


The mitzvah of sukkah, by contrast, is one that naturally includes others, notwithstanding the opinion of R' Eliezer (Sukkah 27) that one must remain in the same sukkah for the duration of the chag. Everyone makes the sukkah their temporary dwelling, the place where they eat all of their meals. Some are unable to make their own. Families and individuals, whether they have their own sukkah or not, are almost certain to share this mitzvah with others, either by eating in others' sukkah or inviting them eat in their own. Therefore, the mitzvah of sukkah is given in the plural because it is the intention that one should eat in many sukkos whereas the mitzvah of lulav and esrog can only be fulfilled with one's own set of the four species.

Have a good Yom Tov and good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

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