What intention should we have when we sit in the Sukkah?
We have had many full lectures about just this, so I will make it short. When we sit in the Sukkah the Torah tells us what our thoughts should be. The Torah says that the reason is, “Li’ma’an yeid’u doro’seichem,” in order that your generations should know, “ki ba’sukkos ho’shavti es Bnei Yisroel,” that I put your forefathers into Sukkahs when I took them out of Egypt. And that means the following. When I took your forefathers out of Egypt they were more secure and more safe than any subsequent time in our history. Pay attention – during the 40 years in the wilderness they were more secure against foreign enemies than any subsequent time in our history. In the wilderness, where they had no fortifications, they were safer than any other time. They lived in open camp and were vulnerable to attack from anyone. And all the nations knew that they were carrying all the wealth of Mitzraim. And yet they weren’t attacked. Moshe Rabeinu never lost a battle. Their camp was invulnerable because there was a Sukkah overhead. And that was the Ananei Kavod, the Clouds of the Presence of Hashem, the Clouds of Glory that were protecting them. And that’s what the Sukkah symbolizes. We sit in the Sukkah under the schach and we say, “This Sukkah is a pretty flimsy protection. There’s no roof of masonry. There’s no iron door. There’s nothing.” And yet, that flimsy Sukkah overhead, represents the idea that it is Hashem who is protecting our nation throughout all the generations. So even though you may live in your brick house all year long and you bolt your doors every night – and you should bolt your doors every night – sitting in the Sukkah for seven days teaches us that our brick walls and our iron doors are all just imagination. Because really it is only Hakodosh Boruch Hu who is protecting us.
And despite the fact that many nations rise up against us, in the end they will all be frustrated. And that’s because Hakodosh Boruch Hu is “ma’tzee’lainu mi’yadam.” His presence goes with us forever.