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What is the secret of Sukkot?


Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

This evening we enter the sukkah for a week under the s'chach, a week of waving the four species, and a week of holiday joy. Sometimes our many obligations obscure the main point of Sukkot, so here are a few words from Rabbi Professor Jonathan Sacks, z"l, that remind us what Sukkot is really all about.

"The Power of Sukkot is that it takes us back to the most elemental roots of our being. You don’t need to live in a palace to be surrounded by Clouds of Glory. You don’t need to be rich to buy yourself the same leaves and fruit that a billionaire uses in worshiping God. Living in the sukkah and inviting guests to your meal, you discover – such is the premise of Ushpizin, the mystical guests – that the people who have come to visit you are none other than Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’akov and their wives. What makes a hut more beautiful than a home is that when it comes to Sukkot, there is no difference between the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor. We are all strangers on earth, temporary residents in God’s almost eternal universe. And whether or not we are capable of pleasure, whether or not we have found happiness, we can all feel joy.

Judaism is no comforting illusion that all is well in this dark world. It is instead the courage to celebrate in the midst of uncertainty, and to rejoice even in the transitory shelter of the sukkah, the Jewish symbol of home."

Chag sameach.


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