The Music of Halacha: Succot Imagination
We can observe the most complex and complicated laws. We can build a House for God that will actually attract His Presence, but it seems as if we cannot build a simple booth without some magical help:
If non-kosher s’chach is placed immediately adjacent to the walls of the succah it does not disqualify the structure as long as its width does not equal four cubits. The non-kosher s’chach is considered as if it were part of an overhanging wall. Instead of non-kosher roof, imagine that you actually have a bending wall!
Empty spaces of less than 3 tefachim, or fists, are not really empty; Imagine them filled with kosher s’chach.
Walls magically rise up in the air. Just use your imagination.
Why are there so many laws to help us construct a simple booth? Surely we can construct a succah without all the magical laws!
The only way to go forward into the year with all we gained on Yom Kippur is to use our imagination. We must imagine ourselves as accomplishing all our dreams. We must imagine ourselves receiving all the blessings for which we prayed.
The opening law in the Mishna about Succah is that a Succah that is taller than 20 cubits is not kosher. The Mishna does not begin by teaching us that we must build a succah or how to build a succah. The tractate begins by reminding us not to make our succah too tall.
It is very easy to leave Yom Kippur and set out sights too high. Imagination; yes. Too demanding; No!