Have you ever noticed that there is no טוב יום commemorating the miracles performed for בני ישראל in the מדבר except for Sukkos, which commemorates the Sukkah - the huts in the desert. There is no יום טוב for the miracles, such as the daily provision of the מן and the water!
In the case of the מן, we find that in Chatzeros and DiZahav, the Jews expressed severe dissatisfaction with the מן and referred to it derogatorily as “substandard bread.” In the case of the water, we find that they complained, as the Torah records, “And the people murmured against Moshe, saying, ‘What shall we drink?’”
However, in the case of the ענני הכבוד, symbolized by the Sukkah, בני ישראל never complained. As a result, says the Sifsei Tzaddik, Hashem gave us the יום טוב of Sukkos, called זמן שמחתינו, the Time of Our Rejoicing. The Sifsei Tzaddik quotes the Gemora in Shabbos: “Whatever mitzvah the Jews accepted with joy, they still fulfill with joy.” Simchah should be the dominate theme in our Sukkah. Let’s make sure that no complaint marring our simcha is heard throughout the days of יום טוב. Let’s strive for a complete week of simchah.
As we leave our dining room and sit in the Sukkah, we should experience a sense of excitement and serenity as we bask in the glory of the Shechinah. Let’s use this opportunity to strengthen our family bonds by creating a warm Sukkah environment with family singing and divrei Torah. Let’s emphasize an appreciation for Hashem’s gift of a clean slate on Yom Kippur and the privilege of doing mitzvos out of a sense of hakaras hatov for all His blessings.
Sukkos is a wonderful opportunity for quality family time. Take your child to shul with you and set up a time to learn together. The children look forward to the Yom Tov and the chance to be with their families, and we must take advantage of it.
And of course, by making sure your child has a regular and set schedule for tefillah and limud HaTora (and kriah for the younger grades), you will help to ensure a smooth transition back to school after Yom Tov.
We look forward to א“ה greeting the children after Sukkos, after what will no doubt be a meaningful and joyful chag.
Rabbi Gidon Goldberg
Head of School