Rabbi Chaim Friedlander writes in his book Sifsei Chaim that during the
festival of Succos, we endeavor to insulate ourselves from those elements
of our mundane world which might turn us away from the path of Torah and
We seclude ourselves in the succah, beneath the shelter of Hashem and away from all the influences of the world at large. But this alone is not enough.
Man cannot live a life of seclusion. And so immediately following Succos we celebrate Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah, and we fill ourselves brimful with the joy of the Torah. Infused with this joy, we are prepared for whatever the frigid winter months might bring.
In a similar vein we read in our haftorah:
"Only be strong and firm, to conscientiously act in accordance with all of the Torah ... You shall meditate upon it [the Torah] day and night." Thus is Joshua exhorted, on the eve of his leading the Jewish people into the Promised Land. For it is now--at the outset--that Joshua must dedicate himself to Torah, and imbue his life-mission, and that of his people, with the fullness of the Torah spirit.
Copyright (c) 1997 by Rabbi Levi Langer
Courtesy of www.JewishAmerica.com