The Gifts of Sukkot
When I’m not busy being overwhelmed by the onrush of all these holidays, I remember why I have such a soft spot for Sukkot. First, there’s the (finally!) leaves starting to change, and there’s the unique pleasure of the etrog’s fragrance. There’s sensation of chanting Hallel and shaking the lulav in the small chapel, and there’s lunch and dinner and schmoozing and toasting in the local sukkot in Macon, Warner Robins, Americus, and Milledgeville.
In between all that, thanks to the internet, I can hear some powerful drashot delivered in other shuls. Great words (brother in law) from Steve Weiss, and his dynamic associate Hal Rudin-Luria sharing Torah in shul (Bnei Jeshurun) in Pepper Pike, Ohio (lemme know if you’d like the link). Powerful and moving sermons shared by Katie Bauman and Micah Greenstein, Memphis rabbis at Temple Israel. Here’s why I mention these drashot at this time — Sukkot challenges us to pivot from the introspection and fasting to bringing our values — and hammer & nail — into the world and get to the necessary work of repair, of Tikkun.
Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur affirmed the truths of second chances and of honestly taking our own measure. Sukkot draws us outside in all our fragility and brokenness. With equal doses of reassurance and challenge Sukkot guides us to get out and do it, to join hands with friends and allies, to celebrate the joy of Torah by living it.