What Do The Mitzvot of Dwelling in the Land of Israel and Dwelling in a Sukkah Have in Common?

In Tehillim (Psalms) 76:3 we read: “Vayehi viShalem Suko, umeonato viTzion”, In Shalem also is His Sukkah and His dwelling place is in Tzion.


The Vilna Gaon points out that the Mitzvah of dwelling in the Sukkah and the mitzvah of Tzion, dwelling in the Land of Israel have something very special in common. When you perform these mitzvoth, you enter into them with your entire being, with your entire spirit and with your entire body- even with your shoes. In the same way that the mitzvah of Sukkah is “taaseh”, you must personally do it (as opposed to something that is done for you), so too is the mitzvah of dwelling in the Land of Israel, you must personally live there and build it up, it is not something that can be done for you.


Why is the mitzvah of dwelling in the Sukkah more widespread than the mitzvah of dwelling in the Land of Israel?


It is a lot easier to pick yourself up and say “for this week I will be eating and sleeping in an alternate home without all of the comforts that I am used to (sort of like going camping or going on vacation), it is another thing to pick up your entire life and move away from your home, your friends, your family, your career etc.


However, think of what a privilege it is to live in a country where your entire being, your entire spirit and your entire body are involved in mitzvoth just by dwelling there. In Israel, we don’t have to wait for Sukkot to have that form of experience (maybe that is why we get two less days of Yom Tov!)