Independent Study for Sukkot
Questions and answers for independent study about the mitzvah of sitting in the sukkah.
Every year we sit in the sukkah. But why? This short lesson gives students an opportunity to explore why we sit in the sukkah and what it symbolizes. The sourcesheet includes classical texts in Hebrew and the worksheet (and Padlet) are in English.
Students will be able to explain why we sit in the sukkah.
Resources & Equipment needed
Copies of source sheets and worksheets or Padlet link
In an in-person class, divide students into small groups or allow them to work independently. In an online class, divide students into pairs or small groups in breakout rooms.
Hand out the source sheets and worksheets (see appendix) or share the Padlet link.
Circulate the room to help students or enter each breakout room to assist.
After 30 minutes, go through answers with the class. If using the Padlet, read through student responses, and discuss their answers.
Then, review the following answers to ensure that students correctly understood each question:
1. “So that future generations will know that I made the Bnei Yisrael dwell in Sukkot when I took them out of Egypt”.
2. These are the clouds of glory that protected the people in their journey in the wilderness.
3. The Rashbam does not agree with Rashi. In his opinion, Sukkot, are actual booths that God made for Bnei Yisrael.
4. The mitzvah is meant to teach us that we should remember and thank God for all the good He has given us in Eretz Yisrael including land and houses with full prosperity. In the desert, we did not have land and lived in booths. It is important to acknowledge God’s role and not say “I did this alone with my two hands.”
5. Although the text does not say this explicitly, we can derive the following: By using agricultural products (Lulav etc) we show our thanks to God for all the good He gives us.
6. “Kevah” means that the Sukkah becomes “fixed” as a home; “Aray ”means a temporary dwelling.
7. When it rains heavily.
8. When the food becomes spoiled because of the rain.
9. The Mishnah tells the following parable: If a servant brings his master water and the master tosses the water into his servant’s face, it shows that the master does not want the service of his slave. If it rains, God does not want the service of Am Yisrael.
10. Students should be able to support their answers.