Jews are commanded to construct a sukkah, a temporary dwelling, [large enough for a family to eat and] live in.
While many people build sukkot and share meals in sukkot, few people live in the sukkah or realize we are commanded to live in the sukkah as well.
The Book of Leviticus (23:42-3) tells us, “ – in huts you are to stay for seven days, every native in Israel is to stay in huts – in order that your generations may know that in huts I had the Children of Israel stay when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I am Adonai your God.”
Once each year Jews all over the world are instructed to build temporary shelters and to live in them for seven days.
Not all of the commandments have explanations. This one does.
The Torah states that God wanted to remind us of the time when the Children of Israel were brought out of Egypt.
The Children of Israel were homeless. The Children of Israel were refugees. We live in a country that is made up of a huge number of people who left their homes, many of the them fled their homes, fled persecution to start a better life here. Maybe it was your parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents
This Sukkot we are all thinking of the massive number of refugees fleeing Syria. We are deeply appreciative of the countries in Europe that have opened their doors. We are thankful to our government for the actions it has taken. And at the same time we are aware that there is so much more for us to do.
This year – spend a night in a sukkah. Reconnect with our own history and the history of so many other people who have been without a real home, who have been persecuted.