Sunday, October 4, 2009

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We are two days into Sukkot. Yes, another Jewish holiday! The origin of this ritual is biblical. God instructed the Jewish people to construct booths. “You shall live in booths seven days. All citizens of Israel shall dwell in booths” (Levitcus 23:42).

Sukkot happens to be one of my favorite holidays. Not only do I enjoy eating and spending time in the sukkah, but I also can really relate to many of the messages that can be derived from the holiday.

For me, tt is easier to feel G-od’s presence in the sukkah because it strips away the materialistic nature of the house and its contents. All the trappings of the home create an illusion of protection--a security system, deadbolt locks, and window bars...our class, our status, and in some cases our self worth. In the sukkah, we can feel God’s protection, God’s watchfulness, like the Jews who left Egypt to follow God into the desert.

The sukkah reminds the Jew “not to trust in the size or strength or beauty of his home, though it be filled with all precious things; nor must he rely upon the help of any human being, however powerful. But let him put his trust in the great G-d whose word called the universe into being for He alone is mighty, and His promises alone are sure.” (Guide to Jewish Religious Practice by Isaac Klein)

This is the first year we have not built a sukkah (circumstances beyond our control). We appreciate all of the invitation we have received so that we are able to fulfill the commandment to dwell in the "booths."



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