Friday, September 22, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 22 - A wedding under the stars

The Mishna and Gemara rule that a Sukkah that is covered as thick as a house, even if the stars cannot be seen from inside the Sukkah, the Sukkah is nonetheless valid. Why is it preferred that one see the stars while dwelling inside the Sukkah? There is a custom by Jewish weddings that the chupah take place under the stars, because this symbolizes that the couple should bear children who are as many as the stars of the heavens. The Vilna Gaon writes that the Clouds of Glory departed after the Jewish People sinned by fashioning the Golden Calf. Hashem forgave the Jewish People on Yom Kippur, and the Clouds of Glory retuned on Sukkos. The Giving of the Torah is referred to as the marriage between HaShem and the Jewish People. Perhaps this is the reason why it is preferred that one dwells in a Sukkah beneath the stars. Sukkos symbolizes that HaShem retains His love for the Jewish People, and by dwelling beneath the stars, we are likened to the bride who stands with the groom under the chupah.