Skip to content

Sukkot

October 17, 2008

I learned today that this is a most complex festival, particularly the timing…who knew. This festival, coming hard on the heels of Yom Kippur, is an affirmation of our relationship with God, with faith and with our own best selves. The sukkah, we know and we are told, is a fragile thing; a frail construct that we beautify with the work of our hands and our imaginings of harvests we no longer participate in. But the roof of the Sukkah is left open to the sky, to God. This is in contrast with our homes, our usual dwellings, which represent our wealth, our prosperity, our worldly achievements. These structures are closed; they surround us and keep nature out. The Sukkah invites not only nature, but God, in.
There are a great many ideas about Sukkot but I like this one: that we live in our sukkah to be open to God; to demonstrate that we live by faith and not by our earthly goods.
We are living in a time in which our material prosperity is crumbling around us. I felt this idea in the parsha deeply because everywhere I turn there is a story. A story of someone’s misfortune, distress, loss and fear of what the future might bring. Everyone is struggling in some way. Many have lost their jobs, many are fearful of losing them, many have lost their life savings, their 401K or retirement money, many are losing their homes or fear they will – with good reason. Parents are less worried about the long term and more worried about how to fill their cars, feed their families and keep the lights on.
People are very afraid, and yet we have just come from affirming our faith in our Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur observances. But…. we are not accustomed to living by our faith; living in our faith. We are accustomed to find comfort, our security, in our houses, our jobs and our bank accounts. In this parsha, God covenants with us that God’s grace and mercy are available to us, at all times and in all places. All at once the Sukkah, open to God, seems the more durable of the two structures, a house built by faith and not by money, which seems the more transient currency.
Advertisements

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: