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Sukkot Ideas

I tell you my story during Sukkot, a time of year when one of the things we come to recognize is that the forces of nature are beyond our control. During Sukkot, we sleep outside in a booth, a tabernacle and surround ourselves with the local food that is available and ripe. We cannot determine how much food our crops will yield and can only celebrate the bounty that we have this year. Likewise, especially during this economic downturn, we cannot determine whether or not we will be dismissed from our jobs and evicted from our homes. This is a story about community and also realizing that we must not take for granted things that we have like warmth and security of a roof and food.

Why do we celebrate sukkot, year after year, and subject ourselves to the bare forces of nature. Traditionally and historically, Jews have left the comfort of their homes during Sukkot to remind themselves that God was present when they left Egypt and ventured out into the desert; remind themselves that their ancestors put their faith entirely in God’s hands. What I want to think about is how this relates to contemporary times; how can putting ourselves in vulnerable positions in order to remind of us the fragility of life?  I question, is it even important to recognize the fragility, especially in times of joy? Does it help us appreciate what we have and what we have been given?

The important thing is that we celebrate and question not alone, but in groups, in communities, with family and friends.

I have the opportunity to share this message three times this weekend in Denver, at an alum’s house party for Shabbat, Saturday morning at Minyan Na’aleh (minyannaaleh.org) and at at Ekar farm (ekarfarm.org), a fairly new community farm which donates proceeds to the Jewish Family Services Food Pantry in Denver. Check out photos and a video clip of my speech!

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One Response

  1. how can we see the speech

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