Between a Word, a Kiss, a Gaze and an Embrace: The Kabbalistic Perspective on the Sukkah. When G-d Hugs Us

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For more than three millennia, during the seven days of Sukkos, we eat, drink, feast, schmooze, relax, read, and sleep in a hut known as a Sukkah. This structure consists of walls and a roof composed of material that grew from the ground, like bamboo, straw or branches.

How many walls does the Sukkah require? According to Jewish law, a Sukkah must have two complete walls plus a third wall that may even be one handbreadth long. If your Sukkah has three or four complete walls, that’s wonderful; but the minimum requirement is two walls and a tiny piece of a third wall.

Why does the law dictate this exact requirement for the Sukkah walls? And what really is the spiritual and psychological significance of spending seven days in a hut on your porch or in your backyard?

The great Kabbalists teach that Sukkos is the holiday, the celebration, of G-d loving and embracing the Jew. The Sukka is essentially G-d’s hug.

There are two forms of love—reciprocal love and unconditional love.

I may love you because of what I receive in return for my relationship with you. You may be wise, deep, sensitive, kind, beautiful, humorous, challenging etc. – qualities expressed in and through your face, your eyes, ears and mouth and general look – and I love you because of these or other tremendous qualities that enrich my life. Yet there is a far deeper love – unconditional, unqualified and absolute love. I don’t love you because of me; I love you because of you. You may not give me anything in return for my love, you may even want me out of your life, but I still love you with all my heart, because my soul loves your soul.

This great unconditional love is physically evident in the Sukka itself. This class will examine four different languages of love: Words of affection, a kiss, a gaze, and a hug. We will study the kabbalistic significance behind each, and discover the greatest love of all: the Sukka.

In this video

The Yeshiva

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