A Message from Our Rabbi
October 1, 2020

The holiday of Sukkot is referred to in our prayers as “zman simchatenu” – “time of our rejoicing.” However, the celebration of the holiday of Sukkot involves us in many dichotomies. For one, the very structure of the sukkah presents a contradiction. The walls can be of the strongest steel or reinforced concrete. Yet the roof, the “s’chach,” from which the sukkah derives its name, must be only from materials that grow from the ground but no longer attached to the ground. It must be thick enough to provide the ratio of more shade than sun, were the sun directly overhead. Yet it must be thin enough to let in rain and to allow the stars to be seen through it at night.

In a nutshell, the holiday of Sukkot reflects the human situation. We live in a firm structure but then, along comes a hurricane, tornado or earthquake. The walls are strong, air conditioning for some and perhaps there is even a lock on the sukkah door; but the elements still make their way in as do bugs, occasional birds, and well…

No doubt that the completion of a harvest is a time to rejoice and to be thankful. Look what we produced! A feeling of accomplishment, satisfaction, and security overcomes us. Our shelves are well stocked with food. There is enough to get us through the long winter until the spring harvest is complete. Yet does one ever truly feel secure? Do we ever have enough?

It is a hard lesson for humankind but one that is necessary for us to reflect on at least once a year. Not just for a day or two but for an entire week. Can we change our way of living and our attitude about life for this one week? Can we then carry over the lesson of Sukkot to our living the other 358 days of the year?
[Rabbi Robert Kaplan]

This Friday evening our service will be a combined Kabbalat Shabbat AND Erev Sukkot Service, as we enter into our Festival of Sukkot together. The service begins at 7:00 pm (note the Festival Service starting time), and is a Mishpacha (family-friendly) Service — ALL ages are welcome as we share in prayers, songs, and the waving of lulav and etrog on Zoom. If you have your own lulav/etrog, or if you made one in school, please bring it with you to the service! (Zoom; click HERE for our "Weekdays, Shabbat, and Festivals" siddur)

Shabbat/Sukkot Morning (Saturday), Yossi Afek will be leading our Torah Study session at 9:00 am, and, at 10:15 am, Scott Kushner will lead our Spice Up your Judaism session. (Use the same Zoom for both Shabbat morning sessions)

As we make the transition over this next few days from our High Holy Days to our Fall Festival season, we wish you Chag Sameach! A very happy holiday!

Rabbi Jennifer L. Frenkel