What is the connection between Succos and the World Trade
It is clear that the huge dimensions of the terrible
destruction that befell New York City and America in general
were not just the work of evil terrorists. Though they are
certainly responsible for the full consequences of their
actions, no schemer could, in his wildest dreams, have
expected to produce the awful wreckage that has ensued. Some
6,000 missing and presumed dead, disruption and shock for many
thousands of others, two towers wrecked and three other
buildings totaling about 15 million square feet (1.5 million
square meters) of office space -- more than the total in many
other cities, billions of dollars of lost equipment, and no
telling when the wound will really heal.
Seen in this way, the terrible blow suffered by America cannot
be attributed solely to the evil people who planned and
executed it. It must also be recognized as a message from
Heaven as well.
America, at least so far, has not taken it this way at all.
The country has focused on the perpetrators and those who sent
them -- as it should -- but it has not reevaluated itself or
its actions at all, as it also should if it recognizes the
real source of the full dimensions of the awful blow that it
All of America's hurt and anger has been directed at outside
sources. None of the power that has been aroused has been
channeled to thinking about America itself and what it might
do differently and better as it proceeds with its intense
efforts towards "life, liberty and the pursuit of
We urge only that the effort be undertaken by America. It is
not at all appropriate for us to suggest what the outcome of
that introspection might be.
Our concern is with the chareidi community, and how it might
best respond. Seasonably enough, the proper fulfillment of the
mitzvah of succah may be a fitting response.
At the beginning of maseches Avodoh Zorah (2b-3a) the
gemora recounts a future dialogue between the nations
of the world and Hakodosh Boruch Hu as it were. Each
one tries to present its achievements in the best light, and
Romi, the first one to be judged, asserts: "We set up many
markets, bathing facilities and amassed vast amounts of silver
and gold, and we did it all only for Israel, that it be able
to occupy itself with Torah."
Hashem counters that they really did it for themselves. After
a number of exchanges, the nations ask for a final chance to
prove themselves, and Hashem suggests the "easy" mitzvah of
Proper observance of the mitzvah of succah, with full
awareness of the personal Providence that we enjoyed from the
Clouds of Glory that the succah recalls, as well as the
willingness to exchange our comfortable stone homes for a
flimsy hut that is under His protection especially in the time
that is the zman simchoseinu, show that we do not place
our trust in anything else but Hashem. The succah
represents the tzeilo demehemnusoh, the shadow of full
faith, which is our true shelter.