How wonderful it is to be beginning a New Year with a celebration! Having just completed the Ten Days of Repentence, we start the Jewish New Year off on this Sunday evening with the celebration of Sukkot!
In his book, Day by Day, Rabbi Chaim Stern quotes Max Arzt, saying:
“Worry has been defined as the act of borrowing trouble from the future for present-day consumption; and courage has been defined as the act of borrowing hope from the future for present-day consumption…. One of the by-products of religious faith is the hopeful outlook described by Isaiah (26:3): “Those of steadfast mind, You keep in perfect peace because they trust in You.”
Our weekly Torah portion of Ha’azinu focuses on issues of faith. As Moses’ leadership draws to a close, Moses reiterates the importance of having faith in God.
Now, we, who have recently experienced the intensity of the High Holy Days, demonstrate our faith in God by building and “living in” a sukkah – a temporary dwelling – for an entire week of celebration. During our celebration of Sukkot, we place ourselves outside of our usual comfort zone. We take our meals outside the security of our homes, in a Sukkah – open to the sky. In doing so, we celebrate the New Jewish Year by symbolically affirming our faith, our hope, and our positive outlook on life.
May we enjoy this Shabbat and the entire week of Sukkot, free of worry, and full of joy!
Rabbi Gilah Dror