King David wrote in Tehillim, the Book of Psalms," He (Hashem) will hide me in His succah on the day of evil." The Malbim understands this verse within the context of an earlier verse which states, "Though an army would besiege me I would not fear; though war would arise against me, in this I trust." The Malbim explains that "in this I trust," is referring to the succah mentioned later in the psalm.
This explanation is reflected in our evening prayers on Friday and Holiday nights. Before we begin the amida, we conclude with a blessing, "Blessed are you, who spreads the succah of peace upon us, upon all of His people Israel, and upon Jerusalem." How is it possible that the succah can be our refuge even in times of war and terror?
The prophet Yeshayah wrote, "And there will be a succah as a shade from heat in the daytime, as a protection and refuge from storm and rain." The Talmud explains that this verse is a reference to the time when Mashiach will come. At that time, Hashem will rain down punishments on the evil people and the righteous people will be saved because they will be secluded in succahs. How can a flimsy structure, as we know the succah to be, protect us from the dangerous times that will face us?
Our sages teach us that the succahs that we build are a reminder of the Clouds of Glory that encompassed the camp of the Jewish nation when they traveled in the desert. As the Rambam points out, the traveling in the desert, under the direct guidance of Hashem through the clouds, was a remarkable training ground in trust and faith in Hashem. We learned to accept the finality of Hashem's decree and subjected ourselves to His will unconditionally.
The succah is where the Jew focused on his trust and faith in G-d. He realizes that man is frail in the face of the elements of nature. As we perceive more and more that it is only our dependence upon Hashem that truly shields us from the bullets of the enemy and we totally place our reliance and security in His hands, then, indeed, will G-d protect us and guard us from the dangers that surround us.
Although the enemy threatens to destroy and loudly clamors that he will annihilate us, "in this I trust." The succah, our refuge from self-reliance and our fortress of absolute protection through Hashem's hands, will safeguard us from the enemy's camp and weapons of destruction.
As we approach the Yom Tob of Succot, uncertain of what the future brings, let us remember that in these days of seeming insecurity King David wrote, "He will conceal me in the concealment of His Tent."
May Hashem continue to watch over His Nation, and spread peace throughout the world.