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According to the last verse of "Yeshayahu - Isaiah - Chapter 4", a Sukkah is "for a shelter and for a covert from stream and from rain" (Chabad) or "for a refuge and for a covert from storm and from rain" (Mechon Mamre).

I understand there are various levels of interpretation for each Bible passage, but my hereby question is in the Peshat level, how can a Sukkah be a protection from "Storm and Rain"?

A sukkah's roof (sechach), as we know it, especially during Sukkot, provides more shade than sun, and the ability to see stars through it, meaning, it is not meant to stop even rain drops.

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    Simple question. If you were out in a field, and it was raining, and there was a Succah nearby, would you go inside of it? – user6591 Oct 8 at 17:25
  • @user6591 "If I were out in a field", I would go under a tree. – ninamag Oct 8 at 17:56
  • And if there were a house nearby you would go into the house. There are many items that can protect from rain. My point was that aSuccah certainly does. To whatever extent. – user6591 Oct 8 at 21:46
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You're extrapolating more from the verse than necessary. It doesn't say that a halachic sukkah should be protection from storm and rain. It's also not even talking about a sukkah that you sit in during Sukkos.

Let's see the verse which precedes this one (Chabad translation):

וּבָרָ֣א יְהֹוָ֡ה עַל֩ כָּל־מְכ֨וֹן הַר־צִיּ֜וֹן וְעַל־מִקְרָאֶ֗הָ עָנָ֚ן | יוֹמָם֙ וְעָשָׁ֔ן וְנֹ֛גַהּ אֵ֥שׁ לֶֽהָבָ֖ה לָ֑יְלָה כִּ֥י עַל־כָּל־כָּב֖וֹד חֻפָּֽה:

And the Lord shall create over every dwelling of Mount Zion and over all those summoned therein, a cloud by day and smoke, and splendor of a flaming fire at night, for, in addition to every honor, there will be a shelter.

So it's discussing that Hashem will create a cloud for shelter.

Then it immediately starts discussing a sukkah that will protect. A sukkah is literally a covering, and in context the verse would seem to be referring to this cloud as a sukkah. This cloud will protect them from storm and rain. The Rashash (end of Sukkah 2a) says this is the simplest understanding of the verse.

Even if you disagree that the verse isn't talking about the cloud, it's not perforce that it's telling you anything about a halachic sukkah. While there is an opinion in the gemarra that it is, this would seem to be on the level of derash, not peshat. Indeed, those that disagree with him there say the verse is talking about a Messianic sukkah (as is clear from the context), not a halachic sukkah. Just because that sukkah will protect from storm and rain, you don't see anything about the sukkos we sit in today.

The gemarra in Bava Basra even says that in the future Hashem will make a sukkah with sechach from the hide of the Leviasan. I don't have a source but perhaps it's the same sukkah as your verse. It's not so simple that that sukkah will be kosher for Sukkos...so again we see Messianic sukkos aren't relevant to today.

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  • I understand your answer. In one non-essential point (both your hereby answer in one opening sentence, and my hereby comment), you wrote, "It doesn't say that a halachic sukkah should be protection from storm and rain." Why should it say so, when halachah is post-Tanach, and this is a Tanach passage? – ninamag Oct 7 at 5:12
  • I don't understand your comment. 1) halacha is post tanach? What does that mean. Halachos are derived from tanach. 2) you yourself asked with the premise that this sukkah in Yeshaya is a halachic sukkah and not a generic covering/shelter, and my answer is that it's the latter – robev Oct 7 at 13:34
  • 1. Yes, Halacha is post Tanach. 2. I did not realize that my premise was about a "halachic sukkah" and perhaps you can say that since my concept (or anybody's concept) of a sukkah ist indeed post Halacha or based on Halacha. – ninamag Oct 7 at 14:52
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    You're exclusively discussing the sukkah that halacha expects of you on sukkos. I call that a halachic sukkah. The word sukkah doesn't exclusively mean 3 walls with sechach that isn't mekabel tumah and is gadul min haaretz – robev Oct 7 at 15:17
  • so if even if the word, "sukkah" (סכה) is from the root word, "s'kach" (סכך) meaning shade, the non-halachic sukkah or non-halachic shelter, in your mind, is therefore any modern-day building? – ninamag Oct 7 at 19:19
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See the Ritva

רבי זירא אמר מהכ׳‎ וסוכ׳‎ תהיה לצל יומם. הקשו בתוספות א״כ נילף מהת׳‎ נמי דבעי סוכ׳‎ ראויה להיות מחסה ומסתור מזרם וממטר ולאו מלתא דהא בקרא נקיט ב׳‎ לישני צל סוכה ומחסה מזרם ומסתור ממטר וכיון דמיחד צל לסוכה שמעי׳‎ אגב אורחיה דלא איקרי סכך אלא בשראוי לצל. ותו דלישנ׳‎ יתירא דייקינן דהול״ל וסוכה תהיה יומם מחורב כלומר שהסוכ׳‎ סוככ׳‎ יום מחורב כדכתיב בעלמא לא ימוש עמוד הענן יומם שפירש ביום ולמה ליה למימר תהיה לצל אלא ודאי אגב אורחיה קמ״ל שאין סוכה אלא הראויה לצל:

on Succah 2a that even according to the opinion that we do compare this to the Succah we use on Succos, the comparison to a Succah like the one we use on Succos is only from the first part of the Passuk. The second part of the Passuk is not talking about the Succah we use on Succos.

See also Tosfos there

וניבעי נמי שלא ירדו גשמים לתוכה אלא ודאי משום דבעינן סככה עראי וא"כ הוה ליה קבע:

that if you made it able to protect from rain and storms it would not be a temporary dwelling.

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