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Qitzur Shulhhan Arukh, Yalqut Yosef (Orahh Hayim 630:1) states:

הסוכה צריכה להיעשות משלש דפנות וסכך

[A] sukkah must be made of [a minimum of] three walls and sekhakh.

Why must a sukkah have three (or more) walls? Why is a structure built of two parallel walls insufficient to be a proper sukkah?

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    Are you asking "why does the definition of sukkah require that the structure have three walls", as in, how do we know that, or are you asking "why would God require people to sit in a structure of three walls"? If the former, see Maseches Sukkah 6b, but the 'taamei-mitzvot' tag indicates that you're asking the latter – הנער הזה Oct 5 '14 at 21:04
  • Thank you for the Gemara citation! In truth, I'm looking for the latter (the ta'am) although I assumed that the former would lead to the latter. – Lee Oct 5 '14 at 21:23
  • Why not just one wall? Or just corner? – Double AA Oct 6 '14 at 2:45
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I heard from the Rabbi of a shul I went to growing up (and it can be found in Likkutei Torah quoting Pri Etz Chaim) that the Sukkah represents Hashem's watching over us, and therefore the Sukkah has the "form" of an arm giving a hug - 2 full walls and the third wall a tefach, corresponding to the two parts of an arm plus a hand, bent to wrap around those inside it.

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It needs to have 2 walls and a small portion of a third, if it has Tzurat HaPetach.

The Yerushalmi learns this out from a Limmud of the Pasuk

" Isaiah 4:6:

There will be a sukkah that will serve as a shadow from the heat during the day, a place of refuge, and a cover from storm and from rain.

The Sages maintain that the verse refers to three different activities, and hence require three walls. Rabbi Shimeon counts "a cover from storm and from rain" as two different activities, and hence requires four walls." - http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/946097/jewish/Shofar-Sukkah-vLulav-Chapter-Four.htm

Alternatively, you would say that this is the minimum for an "enclosure" according to Halakah. Usually we assume that what works for Sukkah also works for defining the Reshuyot of Shabbat.

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