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    Exempt from the sukkah – Sh’lach L’cha

    A sidra called Sh’lach is obviously interested in sh’lichut, the principle of agency. The “agency” concept entails someone carrying out an action on another person’s behalf.

    But there is a strange assertion about agency in the Midrash Tanchuma which says, “One who is appointed as an agent to do a mitzvah is exempt from the duty of sukkah”.

    It is clear that a person who does a mitzvah on your behalf has a love of the mitzvah and a love of God. But what has the sukkah to do with the agency principle?

    Maybe what we have to work out is what the mitzvah of sukkah requires of a person. There are two stages in the mitzvah – preparing the sukkah and dwelling in it. Dwelling in the sukkah is a Torah requirement (Lev. 23:33) from which a person cannot be excused, but preparing the sukkah is a different matter.

    You cannot have a sukkah unless you prepare it, but others can help you with this. If you are busy getting the sukkah ready for others, others will be willing to help to get your own sukkah ready.

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