Laws of Sukkos-Shaar Hachassidus

This article is an excerpt from our Sefer

   Buy now here or on

Shaar Hachassidus

Chassidic insights on Sukkos

1. The Holiday:

A. The commemoration:

The holiday of Sukkos commemorates the miracles and wonders that were performed for the Jewish people while in the desert, and during the exodus.[1] The Holiday is also considered a sequel to the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, as explained next.


B. Draws down the light of the High Holidays:[2]

During the High Holidays, we draw down revelations of G-dliness for the coming year. This is likewise drawn down during the festival of Sukkos. The only difference is in regarding the method. That which was drawn down during the High Holidays in a mode of awe and reverence is drawn down again on Sukkos, with joy and exuberance. This particularly applies during Shemini Atzeres. Sukkos is a time of revelation of Or Ein Sof of Yom Kippur into the heart. It is however only in a way of Makif and hence is hinted to in the Sechach of the Sukkah which is also a Makif. On Shemini Atzeres however it is drawn down internally.


B. An embrace from Hashem:[3]

Sukkos is the holiday which reveals the inner love experienced on Rosh Hashana. The Sukkah is like an embrace from Hashem. The verse of Min Hameitzar applies on Rosh Hashana while the verse of Merchav Kah applies during Sukkos. That is why the Simcha of Sukkos is done with water the Nisuch Hamayim as the Simcha is form such a high source that it can penetrate even water which does not have Simcha in it of itself.


2. The Sukkah

A. The Hundred blows of Rosh Hashanah and the Sechach:[4]

On Rosh Hashanah, we blow the Shofar for a total of one hundred times. We blow 60 Tekios, 20 Teruos and 20 Shevarim. This represents the exact Gematria of the word Sechach, which is 60-20-20. This Gematria emphasizes the previous point mentioned, that on Sukkos we draw down the same revealtions of Rosh Hashanah.

B. The cloud of the Yom Kippur Ketores and the Sechach:[5]

The Sechach represents the clouds of glory which escorted the Jewish people in the desert. It is also reminiscent of the cloud of incense that was offered in the Temple on the day of Yom Kippur.


C. The Chassidic meaning behind the requirement of majority shade:

The Sukkah represents the drawing of an Or Makif down below, to the Jew dwelling inside. Now, an Oar Makif is a very high level of G-dliness [level of Yashis Choshech Sisro] which can only be transmitted in a concealed fashion, hence the requirement for the Sukkah to retain majority shade.

C. The Chassidic meaning behind allowing the stars to be seen:

The Sukkah represents the drawing of an Or Makif down below to the Jew dwelling inside. The purpose of this Oar Makif is to be drawn internally into the Jew. This is represented by the stars which represent a glimmer of the Makif light.

D. All our actions connect with Hashem:[6]

One of the lessons of the Sukkah is that every action a Jew performs is to be connected with Hashem. Just as the mundane actions performed in the Sukkah, is considered a Mitzvah, so too throughout the year, one can connect his mundane actions to Hashem, through performing them for the sake of Heaven.


E. It is considered a partner in creation:[7]

One who fulfills the mitzvah of Sukkah properly, considered a partner of God in creation.

F. The Sukkah corresponds to the Torah:[8]

A Sukkah has a similar shape to the letter Beis, and the Torah begins with the letter Beis. It is due to this reason that we find similarities between the structure of the Sukkah and matters in Torah. For example, its maximum height is 120 Tefachim, corresponding to the three times that Moshe went up to the heavens to receive the Torah, and corresponding to the years of Moshe’s life.. It likewise has a minimum dimension of 7 x 7 Tefachim, corresponding to the seven heavens.

3. The Daled Minim

A. A Mitzvah of Unity:

The Mitzvah of Daled Minim represent unity in many factors:

Makes unity amongst the Sefiros of Atzilus:[9] In general the mitzvah of the four species represents unity of the Jewish people, which is apparent in each of the four species as will be explained later on. This unity arouses the unity of the Divine Sephiros of G-D above in the world of Atzilus. Amongst the Sephirot there are opposing attributes, such as the attribute of kindness and of severity. In order to effect unity amongst these attributes there is required to bring down to their level a very high revelation of G-dliness which to that level both the attributes of severity and of kindness will be nullified to, and thus allow for their unification. It is this level of G-dliness which the four species arouse above to be drawn down to the world of Atzilus and thus cause the unity. Further on will be explained how physically each one of the four species contains aspects of unity in them.

Represents unity of the Jewish people: The aspect of unity is also apparent in the general unity of the four species being taken together. The Midrash explains how each one of the four species represents a different segment of Jewry, and how their being bound together represents their unity.

Each species itself contains unity: Each of the four species contain a certain aspect of unity which differs from all other species in the world. Thus, there is a double aspect of unity in the four species. The unity found in each particular species, and the unity found by bringing the four species together, as explained above.

B. The unity within the Lulav:

The unity within the Lulav:[10] The Lulav contain a certain aspect of unity which differs from all other branches in the world. All trees have their branches grow in various directions from their stem and do not follow any pattern of growth. A regular tree whose leaves have fallen, appears like a stem with many arms, each going in its own direction, thus leaving areas on the stem’s branch bare. The date palm tree, however, has its branches grow in a set pattern, each branch growing from directly on top of the branch below it. All together, it forms a united pattern of branches which covers all of the spine of the palm branch. It is a branch from this tree that G-D commanded us to take to use for the Mitzvah of the four species- the mitzvah of Unity.

The representation of the Lulav within Jewry: The Midrash[11] explains that the Lulav represents the Torah scholars who spend the majority of their time learning Torah. The connection between the two is that Torah is referred to as something of good taste. This corresponds to the taste of the dates which derive from the palm tree of which the Lulav is taken from.

C. The unity of the Esrog:

The unity within the Esrog:[12] The Esrog contains a certain aspect of unity which differs from all other fruits in the world. All fruits have a season of growth during the year, while the Esrog remains on the tree for the entire year, throughout all four seasons. Thus, the Esrog fruit unifies all the seasons of the year.

The representation of the Esrog within Jewry: The Midrash[13] explains that the Esrog represents the people who spend their time performing Mitzvos and Gemilus Chassadim as well as learning Torah. Torah and Mitzvos correspond to the good taste and good smell found in the Esrog.

D. The unity of the Hadass:

The unity within the Hadass:[14] The Hadass is only valid if it contains a majority of three leave sets that grow on the same line. This is unlike other leaves of a branch, in which the leaves grow in a scattered method, along the branch. This pattern followed by the leaves of the Hadass is the aspect of unity found in this branch, over that of other branches.

The representation of the Hadass within Jewry: The Midrash[15] explains that the Hadass represents the people who spend their time performing Mitzvos and Gemilus Chassadim, but not learning Torah. Mitzvos correspond to the good smell found in the Hadass.

E. The Meaning of the Arava:

The unity within the Arava:[16] The Arava is a big bushy tree that has its branches and leaves grow very close to each other. This represents brotherhood and was thus chosen for the Mitzvah of unity.

The representation of the Arava within Jewry: The Midrash[17] explains that the Arava represents the people who do not contain either Mitzvos or good deeds, as the Arava contains neither a good taste nor smell. On the Holiday of Sukkos, all Jews unify together, including such Jews. The Baal Shem tov explains that the Arava represents the simple Jew, who serves Hashem with utter simplicity.


[1] Admur 625:1

[2] Likkutei Torah Haazinu; Likkutei Sichos 2 p. 425; Mamar Shabbos Teshuvah 5723

[3] Likkutei Torah Netzavim 48b

[4] Likkutei Sichos 2 p. 425

[5] Likkutei Sichos 2 p. 425

[6] Likkutei Sichos 2 p. 418

[7] Maryu; Kaf Hachaim 639:12

[8] Maryu; Kaf Hachaim 639:12

[9] Siddur Im Dach p. 524

[10] Siddur Im Dach Shaar Halulav p. 264

[11] Vayikra Raba 30:12

[12] Siddur Im Dach Shaar Halulav p. 264

[13] Vayikra Raba 30:12

[14] Siddur Im Dach Shaar Halulav p. 264

[15] Vayikra Raba 30:12

[16] Siddur Im Dach Shaar Halulav p. 264

[17] Vayikra Raba 30:12

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Leave A Comment?

You must be logged in to post a comment.