Halacha for Friday 14 Tishrei 5781 October 2 2020

The Clouds of Glory

The Gemara (Sukkah 11b) explains that the Mitzvah of Sukkah is in commemoration of the clouds of glory that surrounded our ancestors when they left Egypt.

The Gemara (Ta’anit 9a) states: “Three great leaders arose for the Jewish nation: Moshe, Aharon, and Miriam. Hashem gave the Jewish nation three gifts through them which were: The well, the clouds of glory, and the Manna. The well was in the merit of Miriam, the clouds of glory in the merit of Aharon, and the Manna in the merit of Moshe.”

Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l asks: Why is it that during the Sukkot holiday we only commemorate the miracle of the clouds of glory and not the other miracles of the well and the Manna?

Maran zt”l answers in the name of Hagaon Harav Chaim Chafussi zt”l, head of the rabbinical court in Egypt, who writes that there is a clear distinction between the miracles of the well and the Manna and the miracle of the clouds of glory, for Hashem was required to give the Jewish nation water and bread (the Manna), for Hashem could not command the Jewish nation to leave Egypt to go to the desert only to die there of hunger and thirst. On the other hand, the clouds of glory were a special protection from Hashem which the Jewish nation did not necessarily require and was merely a sign of Hashem’s boundless love for the Jewish nation and was done beyond the letter of the law. Thus, we must especially thank and praise Hashem for this miracle and commemorate it through the Mitzvah of Sukkah.

Maran zt”l adds that before the miracle of the falling of the Manna, the Jewish nation complained, as the verse states, “The entire congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moshe and Aharon in the desert. And they said, ‘Would that we have died by the hand of Hashem in the land of Egypt when we sat by the pots of meat and when eat bread to the full, for you have brought us out to this desert to kill this whole assembly with hunger.’” Only then did Hashem reply to the Jewish nation and say, “Hashem said to Moshe, ‘Behold, I will cause bread to rain down upon you from Heaven and the nation shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day.’” Similarly, before being supplied with water from Miriam’s well, the verse states: “The nation fought with Moshe and said: ‘Give us water that we may drink.’ And the people complained against Moshe and said: ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?’” Only afterwards does the verse state: “Hashem said to Moshe, ‘Pass before the nation etc. and you shall hit the rock and water shall come out of it that the nation may drink.’”

On the other hand, the clouds of glory were given to the Jewish nation without requests or complaints and we have therefore been commanded to commemorate only the clouds of glory which were given by Hashem as a gift to the Jewish nation in his great kindness and goodness. (Ma’or Yisrael-Derashot, page 73)

May the merit of the Mitzvah of Sukkah which envelops us protect us from any harm and may we merit going from strength to strength from the joy of the holiday of Sukkot throughout the rest of the year basking in the shade of Hashem’s divine protection and mercy upon us, Amen.

Ask the Rabbi


הלכה יומית מפי הראש"ל הגאון רבי יצחק יוסף שליט"א

דין ברכת שפטרנו מעונשו של זה
לחץ כאן לצפייה בשיעורים נוספים

Recent Halachot

"תנא דבי אליהו כל השונה הלכות בכל יום מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא"

נדה ע"ג א'

8 Halachot Most Popular

The Eight Levels of Tzedakah

The Rambam (Chapter 10 of Hilchot Matenot Aniyim) writes that there are eight levels included in the Mitzvah of Tzedakah with each one being greater than the other. The highest level of Tzedakah is by helping to support a Jew who lacks his basic needs by providing him with money by means of a gif......

Read Halacha

The Mitzvah of Tzedakah and Donating a Tenth of One’s Earnings

By popular demand, we shall now discuss the topics of Tzedakah and donating a tenth of one’s earnings more broadly based on the words of Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch and the Poskim and based on what is written in the works of Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l on this topic. Question: ......

Read Halacha

Question: Are those who customarily donate a tenth of their monthly income to Tzedakah permitted to deduct the cost of providing for their children still living at home from the sum of this ten percent?

Answer: We have previously discussed that one must donate a certain amount of Tzedakah annually. It is a “middle” level for one to give a tenth of one’s monthly profits every month. Now let us deal with our question regarding those who donate a tenth of their monthly profits to Tze......

Read Halacha

How Much Tzedakah One Must Donate

The Rambam, Tur, and Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch write that the amount one should donate for Tzedakah is, if one can afford it, based on the necessities of the needy people. This means that if one is extremely wealthy and can provide for the needs of poor people in one’s city, one should ind......

Read Halacha


The Mitzvah of Tzedakah

The Tur (Yoreh De’ah, Chapter 247) writes: “There is a positive Torah commandment for one to donate some of one’s money to charity, based on one’s individual capabilities. In addition to the fact that whoever donates charity fulfills a positive Torah commandment, one who abst......

Read Halacha

Who is Obligated in the Mitzvah of Tzedakah?

Every member of the Jewish nation must donate Tzedakah. Even a pauper who receives Tzedakah, has no way of earning a livelihood, and only lives off of what others provide him with must give Tzedakah from what others give him. When the Sages of Israel had control over the Jewish nation, the Jewish co......

Read Halacha

The Privilege to Donate Tzedakah

In the previous Halacha, we have discussed how the prophet Yirmeya requested from Hashem that when the wicked wish to donate Tzedakah, he should present them with unworthy people. This means that the Tzedakah funds should go to unworthy causes, such as cheaters and con-artists. As such, the wicked w......

Read Halacha

Unworthy Individuals

In the previous Halachot, we have explained the primary aspects of the Mitzvah of Tzedakah. If one transgresses any prohibition in the Torah and does not repent, for instance, if one is aware of the prohibition of shaving one’s beard with a razor and he nevertheless does so or one who dese......

Read Halacha