Between the Masach and the Schach

We went to the Four Species Market in New York this year. It is strange to see people looking for a lulav, hadas, aravah and etrog with the backdrop of highways, American food chains and skyscrapers. This contrast only makes the message of Succot that much more powerful – the holiday which calls upon us to leave the urban, developed world and turn to the simplicity of nature; to abandon the chase after property and money in favor of a family get together in the Succah. It seems that the more advanced technology becomes, the message of Succot becomes more relevant and more revolutionary: no smartphone application can replace the human encounter with the background of wood and Schach and going outside of the home for a week. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov once asked one of his disciples: “Have you looked up at the sky today?”. Already 200 years ago he warned us not to run from the elevator to the office, from the parking lot to the shopping mall without lifting our eyes up for a moment. The holiday of Succot forces us to do so, to leave the masach (screen) in favor of the Schach. Chag Sameach!

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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