Sukkot 5771

 

Author:

Matt Rosenberg

Header:

May your holiday of Sukkot be blessed with friends, family, and enjoyment in the Sukkah while keeping in mind the natural forces that can sometimes make precarious the roof over our heads. 

Description:

This is part of the on-gong series of Divrei Torah being published on the NECHAMA, Jewish Response to Disaster web site and subsequently sent to our e-mail community.

Body:

 Sukkot 5771

Matt Rosenberg

 

Shalom,

 

            The central symbol of the holiday of Sukkot is the Sukkah, or “booth” Sukkot (the plural form in Hebrew) is a holiday in which we recall the years the Israelites spent in the wilderness, living in temporary structures following the exodus from Egypt.  It is traditional for families to construct a Sukkah as a temporary dwelling place for the week-long holiday.  The roof of the Sukkah is made from natural plant material and allows one to see the stars or to feel the rain.  Many strive to eat every meal in the Sukkah, some placing a cot or sleeping bag in the Sukkah to spend the nights outdoors.  These activities help us to better understand the power of nature and the value of having a solid roof over our heads.  We are reminded of this by the words of the Medieval scholar Isaac Aboab who wrote, “The Sukkah is designed to warn us that a person is not to put their trust in the size or strength or beauty of their home, though it be filled with all precious things.”  As volunteers and supporters of Nechama, we know far too well the truth behind Rabbi Aboab’s words. 

 

            At the end of Sukkot, on Shemini Atzeret, we recite the Geshem prayer for rain and begin including the line in our daily prayer service, “You cause the wind to blow and the rain to fall.”, Those of us who work to rebuild lives and homes following a disaster know, however, that the wind or rain can be a blessing but also when too much, can cause devastation to individuals, families, and communities.  Sukkot helps us to appreciate the power of the wind and rain in our lives. 

 

            May your holiday of Sukkot be blessed with friends, family, and enjoyment in the Sukkah while keeping in mind the natural forces that can sometimes make precarious the roof over our heads. 

 

            Hag sameach!

 

Matt Rosenberg is a Rabbinical Student at American Jewish University in California and a Nechama volunteer. He can be reached at rosenbergmatt@gmail.com

 

Categories:
Parsha:
Holidays:
Keywords:
Cited Texts:
AJWS offers On1Foot as a resource to the community out of our desire to encourage and enrich the ongoing conversation about Judaism and Social Justice. The statements made and views expressed in this work are solely the responsibility of their authors.

Comments on this Text