There is a famous question of the Tur why Succos is in Tishrei and not in Nissan, when we actually left Mitzraim and received the Clouds of Glory. (You can find the Tur's answer here and here where it is listed along with the Gra's answer which is famous as well.)

Previous years I have seen many other less famous answers, some of which I loved, but I'm having difficulty remembering them now. If anyone has any other answers I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks so much.

  • related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/40251/170
    – msh210
    Sep 21, 2020 at 5:18
  • I think that we have a natural high from the relief after all of the tension of the aseres yemei teshuva, so it is a time of simcha from a psychological perspective and that sets the scene for Sukkos. Another way to look at it is that it gives us a practical way to move forward from Yom Kippur and get busy with mitzvos (building the Sukkah, obtaining arba minim etc). There may be something in it being the only mitzvah that surrounds you completely in that way as well, and that you've built it with your own hands (well, some of us, anyway), and the kids often love it! All good stuff post YK. Oct 7, 2022 at 13:37

1 Answer 1


There is an idea expressed in many places that Succos occurs in Tishrei as it marks a continuation from the Yomim Noraim. Whereas the High Holy Days mark a period of Teshuva mei'yirah (repentance out of fear), the days of Succos signify a time of Teshuva Mei'ahava (repentance borne out of love).

In the Haftarah we read on Shabbos Shuva - the verses in Hoshea 14:2-3 state:

שׁ֚וּבָה יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל עַ֖ד ה' אֱלֹקיךָ כִּ֥י כָשַׁ֖לְתָּ בַּעֲוֺנֶֽךָ׃

Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, For you have fallen because of your sin.

קְח֤וּ עִמָּכֶם֙ דְּבָרִ֔ים וְשׁ֖וּבוּ אֶל־ה' אִמְר֣וּ אֵלָ֗יו כָּל־תִּשָּׂ֤א עָוֺן֙ וְקַח־ט֔וֹב וּֽנְשַׁלְּמָ֥ה פָרִ֖ים שְׂפָתֵֽינוּ׃

Take words with you And return to the LORD. Say to Him: “Forgive all guilt And accept what is good; Instead of bulls we will pay [The offering of] our lips.

The Malbim notes that the word for 'Repent' (שׁ֚וּבָה and וְשׁ֖וּבוּ) are repeated and he asks why the need for this repetition. He notes that the initial call to repent is to do so when the Jewish people were distant from Hashem and thus were repenting mei'yirah. The second instance tells us to repent again, but this time building on the foundation of the first time, coming from a place of teshuva mei'ahavah.

The Kedushas Levi, Rav Yitzchok Levi of Berditchev perhaps best encapsulates this period here:

שבימים האלו מראש השנה עד יום הכפורים כל איש ואיש בודאי עיניו פקוחות על כל דרכיו לשוב אל ה' איש לפי שכלו יהולל ולפי מדריגתו מפחד ה' ומהדר גאונו בקומו לשפוט הארץ כי קרוב יום ה' ומי יכול להצטדק בדין ומי הגבר אשר לא ירא ואיזהו נפש אשר לא תעונה, כי יבא להיות נשפט לפני שופט כל הארץ על כל מעשיו הלא החרד על דבר ה' יעשה במרום הר שכלו לתקן את אשר עוות והתשובה נקרא תשובה מיראה. ואחר יום הכפורים כשעוסקין במצות סוכה ולולב וד' מינים וצדקה כיד ה' הטובה בנדבה וחובה לעבוד את עבודת ה' בשמחה וטוב לב, אזי התשובה הזאת תשובה מאהבה. וידוע מאמר חכמינו ז"ל שעל ידי תשובה מיראה הזדונות נהפכו לשגגות ועל ידי תשובה מאהבה הזדונות נהפכו לזכיות כאשר איתא שם. והקדוש ברוך הוא ברוב רחמיו וחסדיו הרוצה בתקנות השבים לפניו באמת ובאהבה כאמור ולא תחפוץ במות המת כי אם בשובו מחטאיו וחיה. על כן בחג הזה שאנו באים לחסות בצל שדי על ידי מצות ומעשים טובים מאהבת השם יתברך אז מונה העונות לידע כמה מצות יהיה חילוף העונות, מה שאין כן עד סוכות דהוא מיראה אזי לא ימנה כלל שעדיין הם שגגות. אמנם בסוכות שאז הוא מאהבת השם אז השם יתברך מונה וסופר העונות כדי שיתהפכו לזכיות ויהיו מליצים טובים על ישראל.

Though the period between New Year’s day ‎and the day of Atonement hardly fits the description of ‎‎“festivals,” seeing that during these days we are preoccupied ‎almost exclusively with repentance, i.e. our mood is somber and ‎introspective. Until the conclusion of the day of Atonement we ‎are full of fear rather than filled with joy, as befits the festival ‎days. The Torah had set aside the last of these ten days as one on ‎which each one of us is to practice self-denials as part of the ‎process of repentance. (Leviticus 23,29) so much so that anyone ‎not following these instructions is warned that he will lose his ‎share in the hereafter for having failed to do so. Anyone ‎exploiting these ten days for repentance, however, has only ‎fulfilled the minimum requirement, i.e. he has repented out of a ‎fear of punishment. When the Day of Atonement has passed and ‎we are preoccupied with the various commandments that enable ‎us to celebrate Sukkot joyously, our mood undergoes a ‎drastic change and we are happy to have the opportunity to ‎fulfill the many commandments connected with that festival. The ‎effect of all this is that our repentance, which previously could be ‎attributed merely to our fear of punishment, has now become ‎repentance from a feeling of love for G-d and His Torah. The effect ‎of this is so powerful that iniquities we were guilty of before the ‎ten day period of repentance, have now become the catalyst of ‎our mitzvah performance so that in retrospect these ‎iniquities also have become something constructive, as without ‎the need to repent them and to take steps to rehabilitate ‎ourselves we would never have done so.‎ (Sefaria Translation)

The idea being, that it is a crucial secondary step to achieving a full repentance and that is why it has to be in Tishrei.

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