The Sukkah of Leviathan

Rabbi Ethan Tucker

High Holiday Reader 5783

Many of us recite a special prayer when we leave our sukkah for the final time at the end of the holiday of Sukkot. This prayer helps us long for the opportunity to sit in the ultimate sukkah. And what is that? One constructed out of the mythical Leviathan, the epic biblical sea monster that represents the forces of chaos and evil and which will be ultimately slain by God and prepared as a banquet for the righteous. Animal hides are completely invalid for sekhakh, the sukkah's water-permeable roof, so the image of Leviathan’s skin here is meant to conjure up the walls of our future sukkah in our mind’s eye. Why are we talking about the sukkah’s walls at all?