Two Sukkot messages

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Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Hadar Goldin once painted a wonderful picture of a boy sitting under a tree. The boy looks out at nature and changes the living world he sees into music. This painting was recently made public with the approach of Sukkot, along with a request to hang it everywhere as a sukkah decoration. We are supposed to bring into the sukkah all aspects of our lives - to eat and drink and converse in it. And so we are also presented with the opportunity to bring into the sukkah our obligation to return the bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul from Gaza, as well as Avera Mengistu who has been taken captive there.

Rina Shnerb was intensively involved with our enslavement to cell phones. As a high school student, she felt that they had taken control of us instead of our being in control of them. She was constantly thinking of ways to decrease our screen time while promoting simple human interactions with others. Her family has continued her efforts and, before Sukkot, they publicized the following message: "Disconnect in order to connect"; specifically, we are encouraged to enter the sukkah without our cell phones in order to enjoy quality sukkah time without them.

Hadar fell in Operation Protective Edge seven years ago and Rina was murdered in a terrorist attack two years ago. These two young people succeeded in leaving a legacy and their families memorialize them in inspiring ways which can upgrade the holiday experience for all of us.

Chag sameach.

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