Tuesday, September 25, 2007
sleep and sukkah
I can’t think of any mitzvah other than sukkah (maybe yishuv eretz yisrael?) that one can do while one is asleep. As mentioned yesterday, the Rosh and other Rishonim even ask why no bracha is recited over sleeping in sukkah. The Shem m’Shmuel explains that when one is asleep the neshoma has departed from the guf (for the most part) and all that remains is the physical body. Mitzvos usually require an investment of the neshoma and lev to uplift, yet sukkah apparently has the special power to envelop and uplift even if all a Jew puts into the mitzvah or is capable of putting into the mitzvah is a sleeping body and no more. I would add that perhaps in addition to the power of mitzvas sukkah we see something about the character of Am Yisrael; even stripped of neshoma elyona and left only with an empty guf, that guf still is something that merits the enveloping protection of the walls of sukkah.