Shadow and Light

delllaroccaBy Roberto Della Rocca*

One of the fundamental requirements for constructing a kosher sukkah is that its roof must create more area of shadow than light. Rabbeinu Behaye [c. 1255-1340, Spain] states that the Creator is the Great Shadow, and not wanting that any one person denigrate the importance or authority of another, He gave a part of His Shadow to every person and thing in the world. Shadow is, in fact, the very image of us, and it marks out the position and projection of every subject and object in the world. Living in the sukkah helps us to rediscover the healthy dimension of our reflected image—both individual and collective—too often washed out and assaulted by too much light.

*Roberto Della Rocca is a rabbi and the Director of the Education Department at the Union of Italian Jewish Communities. The article was translated by professor Daniel Leisawitz, Italian Studies, Muhlenberg College, Chew St. Allentown, Pennsylvania USA.