I look out onto our back porch and marvel again at this conjunction of joyous seasons. Our sukkah is up and colorful with hanging fabric walls, flowers, banana plant leaves and palm branches, a lulav and Etrog are awaiting to be shaken on the first morning of Sukkot – which also happens to be Canadian Thanksgiving.
A conjunction of joy and of course hodu – gratitude – (and turkey) in a pun that just must be noted!
Sukkot, the season of our joy – z’man simchateinu – is a reminder of those travels through the Wilderness millennia ago, that our ancestors made, after the Israelites left Egypt and had ‘not yet’ arrived back to their homeland of Israel. Sukkot radiates homecoming in so very many ways. As we build these shaky little huts, we are also reminded of the fragility of our own houses, our bodies. Sukkot is a holiday of joy and nourishment – and also slightly melancholy. We are but here for this physical lifetime, whatever days and years we are given.
And, as we hear in Ha’azinu, this song of promise that is sung just before the death of Moses, we are entrusted by God to do the work on this earth, to build in this lifetime, to live in this body, and do as much as can be done. Ha’azinu teaches us that not only do we have faith in God but that God has faith in us; to act in this world, to care for each other, and to bring light into this world. God entrusts us with our deep learning of Torah to learn and then understand what each of us can do to increase light.
The full moon – filling the heavens tells us Sukkot is here. The tiny flame of the Yartzeit candle tells us Sukkot is here.
May we be filled with joy, light, and with memories of loved ones as we celebrate this week of festivities.Much love,