The pasuk states (Vayikra 23:43):

לְמַעַן, יֵדְעוּ דֹרֹתֵיכֶם, כִּי בַסֻּכּוֹת הוֹשַׁבְתִּי אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, בְּהוֹצִיאִי אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם

in order that your [ensuing] generations should know that I had the children of Israel live in booths when I took them out of the land of Egypt. I am the Lord, your God.

Various commentaries point out that in order to fulfil the mitzvah of sukkah one needs to contemplate the meaning of sukkah (טור או''ח ס' תרכה); either to have כוונה like Rabbi Eliezer (ענני הכבוד) or Rabbi Akiva (סוכה ממש) or ideally both (Chayei Adam klal 146).

So important is its meaning that there are those who would require you to eat another kezayit if you hadn't had the correct כוונה, albeit a chumrah (ברכי יוסף ס' תרכה אות ג). MB goes like the Pre Megadim who says that we only need to have כוונה to fulfil the mitzvah, not specifically for the meaning of the word sukkot in the pasuk.

Why is the mitzvah of sukkah unique in that it has a meaning ('לְמַעַן יֵדְעוּ') that is meakev? And how does this fit into the general discussion of מצות צריכות כוונה?


2 Answers 2


Perhaps the fact that Teffilin, Tzitzis and Succah all share the fact that their main kiyum mitzvah is not an actual action, but rather to be in the situation of passively being involved or enveloped in the mitzvah, special attention was required so as to ensure the proper kiyum of the mitzvah. As opposed to an action mitzvah like eating matzah or shaking a lulav where the act itself is enough to 'prove' the intent behind it, at least bidieved.

Take for instance the Bach who asks why we don't make a bracha likshor tefillin but rather lihaniach tephilin. His answer was to take the focus off the tying and place on the 'having them on'.

Tzitzis too has it's bracha lihisateif, a focus on being mi'utaf, we do not say li'ateif, a focus on the act of putting it on.

Succah as well we find the bracha is leisheiv which many have pointed out is a wording of li'akeiv shom, staying there, we do not make a bracha likaneis or the like. In fact the bracha was only niskan when eating and we still do not make a bracha le'echol bisucca.

  • Interesting thought....I like it, +1. ( sources would improve this answer but, IMO, are unnecessary here )
    – MTL
    Oct 8, 2014 at 4:16
  • @Shokhet this question you posed is something that has been on my mind for many years. As such I have put some time looking and asking people for an answer, to no avail. Somehow though while reading your wording of the question this original thought popped into my head. As such I have no source, and no more resources. But I actually like it, if I may say so myself, and ascribe a cheilek of the zchus of thinking of it to you and your question. Oisios machkimos.
    – user6591
    Oct 8, 2014 at 17:58
  • ( this was not my question, sorry! ....you might want to tell bondonk, though )
    – MTL
    Oct 8, 2014 at 18:18
  • @Shokhet oh. Woops;) ok well I think I'll wait for some positive qords from bondok before I ascribe some of the cause of the thought process on him. He might not appreciate it!
    – user6591
    Oct 8, 2014 at 18:47
  • Really, though, thank you very much.....I used this several times for an emergency dvar Torah at Yom Tov meals where I was stuck for one :-)
    – MTL
    Oct 12, 2014 at 3:30

The Bach on Hilchos Tzizts Orach Chaim 8:7 explains the Tur's wording of Vyichaven when it comes to Tzitzs.

The Tur writes " ויכוין בהתעטפו שצונו המקום להתעטף כדי שנזכור כל מצותיו לעשותם": one should have in mind when wrapping himself in tzizts that HaShem commanded you to wrap yourself in order to remember all the mitzvos to do them.

The Bach explains that there are three Mitzvos which the Tur writes one should have intention of the meaning of the mitzvah not just the thought of doing a mitzvah. He explains it is due to the word Lmmaan. By Tzizts it says Lmaan tizkuru = inorder that you should remember. By Teffilin it says Lmaan Tiyeh Toras HaShem Bifcha(it also has the word tizkuru in beg of passuk)... = inorder that the Torah will be in your mouth. By Sukkah it says Lmaan yeidu Dorosaichm = inorder that your children will know...

Its all based on the special wording of the pesukim of these three specific mitzvos that special attention is required.

  • 5
    "Why is the mitzvah of sukkah unique in that it has a meaning ('לְמַעַן יֵדְעוּ') that is meakev?" ....I don't see an answer to that here. You just reconfirmed the asker's idea that we have למען ידעו, but you haven't told us why sukkah is different, why sukkah has this passuk. [ Disclaimer: did not see your source inside ]
    – MTL
    Oct 7, 2014 at 2:48

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