D'var Torah: The Miracles of Sukkot
The holiday of Sukkot commemorates the Clouds of Glory that Hashem provided for Bnei Yisrael throughout their 40 year journey in the desert; however, while the Clouds of Glory provided the Jewish nation with much protection, they weren’t the only miracle the Jews were blessed with over the course of their travels. Hashem also sustained them with the heavenly ma’an that fell down on their camp every morning, as well as the supernatural well that followed them on their journey, providing them with drinking water. Thus the question is asked, of all these miracles that god performed for the Jews, why is it that the only one we celebrate with a holiday is the miracle of the Clouds of Glory? What separates it from the ma’an and the well?
Among various answers, the Sages explain that while the ma’an and the well were both great miracles, they were considered integral for the survival of the Jewish nation. As parents are obligated to provide their children with food and water, the ma’an and well were just part of God's basic obligations to his children. The Clouds of Glory, on the other hand, were a luxury, a privilege, and something beyond God’s basic obligations to us- they were Hashem’s way of showing his immense love for the chosen nation, the nation He took out of slavery and later brought to the holy land. Furthermore, our Sages explain that unlike the ma’an and the well, the Clouds of Glory were a gift solely for Bnei Yisrael and not for the Erev Rav, another symbol of the unique bond between God and His people. It was in this merit that the Clouds of Glory are celebrated every year.
The Zohar, a jewish Kabbalistic source, refers to the Sukkah as “Tzela Dehemnoota,” the shade of faith, so to speak. The sukkah, in all it’s holiness, has the special ability to inspire us to come closer to our Creator, and further strengthen our relationship with Him. God willing, we should all merit to use the Sukkah as a spiritual tool to reach higher and higher levels of Emunah in Hashem.