“When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because God, your Lord, Who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. When you are about to go into battle, the Cohen shall come forward and address the army. He shall say: ‘Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For God, your Lord, is the One Who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.’ The officers shall say to the nation: ‘Has anyone built a new house and not yet begun to live in it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else may begin to live in it’ (Deuteronomy 20:1-5).”
The first meal in a new home is described as its Chinuch, just as we describe the introduction of Torah study to a child; Consecration. Our custom is to celebrate a new home with a Mitzvah feast to consecrate the new home with Mitzvot (Radak).
The first Succot feast in the Succah is its Consecration. It sets the tone for the entire festival, and, just as we consecrated the Mishkan, Mizbei’ach, and the people who served in and on them, we consecrate ourselves with this meal.
· Recite the Kiddush as a celebration of our new home, with the intention to sanctify the space.
· Invite guests to the celebration of our new home.
· Have in mind when eating the full, obligatory portion of Challah, to sanctify all the meals that will be eaten in this new home, as if the food was being placed on the Mizbei’ach.
· Conversation should be focused on dreams for our new home, and appropriate to its Consecration.
· Shake the Four Species for the first time in the Succah to develop a sense of Sanctity equal to the Beit HaMikdash, which is where we shook the Four Species every day.
· Focus on Abraham who initiated and consecrated the special bond between Israel and God, and who connected Heaven and Earth (Genesis 14:19), emulating the first Patriarch in this home, open to the heavens, creating a heavenly place on the earth.