Succot Lecture Part Seven: The First Cloud
We’ve spoken about approaching Succos now, ‘as if’, as if I can do anything. As if I can continue to be who I was on Yom Kippur, as if I could continue to daven with the intensity that I davened on Yom Kippur. After going in with the sense that nothing is impossible, danim efshar me she lo efshar, you want to remember clouds, build a building. A building will remind us of clouds of glory? Absolutely, there is nothing that is impossible, we experienced it on Yom Kippur. We create it when we make the choice, the Shechina is so real in our succah that we have to be careful before entering, when we are sitting in the succah to feel the Hashem in such a way. That we speak differently when we are in the succah, we act differently, we eat differently when we are in the succah then we will succeed in having a sense of Shechina, of the divine presence, in the succah.
But lets go on, because if it was the clouds, we learn halacha from the clouds. Because when is the first cloud?
In the second story of creation. Before Hashem created the primary human being. So it says there was no rain, all of the grass, all of the roots all the shoots were underneath the ground waiting to grow, because there was not yet a human being to daven as an active participant in creation and to ask Hashem and say, its not just that You created, but You are an active participant in the creation, please do what is necessary for everything to grow.
And the mist did not come down from the ground, a mist rose from the ground. And from here we learn that the succah which is a recreation of the mist, or cloud, must grow from the ground. That’s where we learn the halacha.
So this mist came and it watered the ground, now when you had mist on ground, a thick mist on the ground, what happens to the mist, it becomes mud. And Hashem took that mud and with that mud He formed the body of the primal human being. So we are not simply remembering clouds, we are remembering the first clouds. We are remembering the cloud that was used in the formation of a human being. When we, recreate that mist or cloud by putting S’chach on top of our succah, we are going back to the moment of creation. To that first cloud which was used to form – yetzirah, to form a body of the primal human being.