Section: Moadim   Category: Succos
Rav Eliyahu Dessler: Succah, Heaven On Earth

The Michtav Mei'Eliyahu says that anyone who thinks he can bring his life to the point of perfection and stay that way is kidding himself. Every person knows that all worldly pleasures come and go and cannot be sustained over the long term. Life is constantly evolving. The only pleasure that is eternal is torah and mitzvos. Our challenge in this world is to live in it without becoming its next victim. To live a spiritual life in a physical world.  Hashem puts our spiritual neshama in a physical body and sends it down to a physical world and instructs us to make sure that our Neshama reign supreme despite this completely physical environment, starting with our own bodily desires.

After spending Yom Kippur ridding ourselves of mistaken attitudes and refocusing our goals heavenward, we go into the Succah for seven days before coming back into the world, and testing ourselves once again. The succah is a bare physical existence and the best spiritual habitat we can carve out in this physical world. It has none of the standard luxuries that our earthly homes have, which blur our spiritual vision. It has four walls and barely a roof overhead, allowing you to always see the heavens above you.  You remember that someone is watching your every move, and keep in mind where you will spend eternity after this short life is over. These are the baby steps we need to take before jumping back into the "real world" convinced that this year will finally be different.