My first introduction to the writings of Rabbi Soloveitchik was in yeshiva in Israel when I read Rabbi Abraham Besdin's Reflections of the Rav. One of the ideas therein that immediately struck me was how the Rav noted that if Orthodox Jewry is to have any hope of influencing the masses of non-Orthodox Jews it will be through integrity and scrupulousness of our business practices. Non-observant Jews are little impressed by strictures in kashrut or Shabbat but might be by such in our dealings with our fellow man.
"Rabbi Yossi Haglilee used to say: One who is involved in a mitzvah is exempt from another mitzvah" (Sukkah 26a). A mitzvah is entitled to one's full attention, and our Sages long ago understood that when one tries to multi-task, both tasks will end up the poorer for the effort. Despite the inherent logic involved in such reasoning, the Talmud looks for scriptural support for this notion.
As important as classroom education may be, informal education is often more valuable. "The service of Torah is greater than the study thereof" (Brachot 7b). In a classroom setting, we can only see one facet of a person; but given a chance to spend some time with them over the course of a day, one can learn so much more.
The halachic system, like all legal systems, is on based on verifiable actions. What one may think when signing a contract is of little bearing; “matters of the heart are not matters” (Kiddushin 49b). While there are instances where our thoughts create moral obligations, it is rare that such can create a change in legal status. Rare--but not unheard of.
While the Jerusalem Talmud rules that one makes a bracha upon construction of a sukkah (Sukkah 1:2), our practice is not to do so, seeing the making of the sukkah as only a hechsher mitzvah, a necessary (and laudatory) preparatory stage to the mitzvah itself, that of dwelling in a sukkah. When all is said and done, it matters little who makes the sukkah. The Gemara (Sukkah 9b) allows sukkot ganbach and ravkash, acronyms for sukkot made by those not obligated in the mitzvah, i.e.
The Gemara derives the minimum height of a sukkah from two separate and very distinct sources. In fact, the first “source” is no source at all. Rather it is based on simple logic. A sukkah less than ten tefachim, handbreadths (approximately three feet) tall is not fit for habitation as “it is a dira serucha, a smelly dwelling, and a person does not live in a smelly dwelling” (Sukkah 4a). No textual support is cited, as none is needed.