The Gemara and Mishna on this Daf discuss the concept of תעשה ולא מן העשוי, which is the requirement that the Schach for the Succah be placed on the Succah with intention as a shade or cover, and not just automatically end up on top. Say you had a vine that grew on top of your Succah frame, even if you cut the vine so it no longer was attached to the ground, it still would not be valid as Schach. However, a small action such as shifting each of the vines around after they were cut, is significant enough to establish it now as a purposeful covering.

The Akeidas Yitschok (1:1) explains the meaning behind this requirement in a powerful manner. As we know, the Mitzvah of Succah is symbolic of divine Providence. However, within that idea, תעשה ולא מין העשוי emphasizes that the creation was made with a purpose. We are not just random elements that somehow managed to coalesce together; the Universe and life are no accident. We are the product of God’s unified intellect and will that generated our existence. The intention required in the placing of the Schach implies this necessary belief.

I will add my own idea onto this beautiful vort. In order to rectify the problem of תעשה ולא מן העשוי only a small amount of effort is sufficient. The vine does not need to be utterly removed and replaced; rather merely lifting each branch slightly is sufficient (see Shulkhan Arukh OH 626:2). I think this teaches us that we can and should find signs of God’s Providence and intelligent design in subtle ways. We don’t need a miraculous splitting of the Red Sea to see God’s influence in the world. Even subtle hints are sufficient to demonstrate His intent.


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Translations Courtesy of Sefaria