Parshas Haazinu.


The laws of Sukkos.


1. The last of our holidays at the end of the year is Sukkos – one of the most joyful holidays. Now that the judgment days are over, a Jew feels the happiness of the one justified in court. The purpose of the holiday of Sukkos is to show how vain this world is. On this holiday we live in the tents constructed of cheap materials, covered by simple branches. Being in such unprotected dwellings, we show that only the Creator guards us.


2. Many people start building the Sukkah right after Yom Kippur (some people begin even before Yom Kippur to have additional merits which will add to one’s mitzvos). It is necessary to build a tent in open-air (not under a tree or a hanging roof of the house). The laws of construction of a kosher tent are quite complex, therefore it is necessary to always ask a Rabbi.


3. During the seven days of the holiday we have to live in a tent. This means eating, sleeping, learning Torah in the Sukkah as though it was our house. Only if it is raining, and the life in a tent becomes unbearable, we go home. Outside the Sukkah one is permitted to eat or drink something, as the person sometimes does outside of the house, but all meals that include bread need to be eaten only inside the Sukkah. According to some opinions even when one eats large amounts of cake or drinks a lot of wine he should also go to the Sukkah. In any case it is desirable to eat and drink everything only inside the Sukkah. In cold countries, not everyone can sleep in a tent, but happy is the one who puts on warm clothes and spends the night there.


4. The second special mitzvah of the holiday is picking up four species: Esrog, Lulav, myrtle branches and willow branches. It is necessary to buy the plants of the best quality; a Rabbi can help checking your plants to make sure they are kosher. If a person did not have an opportunity to buy the plants, on the first two days of the holiday he cannot simply borrow them. Rather he needs to ask a friend to give him the plants as a gift with a condition, that he will return them back.


5. Women are not obliged to sit in a Sukkah or to lift the four plants. Nevertheless, most women pick up the plants and some also recite the blessing.