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Sukkah as Time Machine

This year, we built our sukkah in stages: the structure was reconstructed by the boys and my parents, the top was relaid by me late one afternoon, and the decorating happened betwixt and between with the help of the whole family.  It was wonderful to welcome friends, relatives and some members of our Or Ami family into our sukkah for dinner and celebration.

Recently, I came across this beautiful explanation of the sukkah.  Compliments to the website of Temple Isaiah of Los Angeles:

In many ways the sukkah is like a time machine. When we sit in this sketch of a home, we are transported to the desert where the Israelites wandered for forty years. We might remember that the rabbinic legend which says the sukkot the Israelites dwelt in were made from clouds God provided for them. We are also transported to Israel, where during the harvests the farmers would live out in their fields in little booths to be able to keep watch over their crops. As we sit in the flimsy sukkah, we might also be transported to Skid Row where people live in flimsy makeshift homes of boxes and scrap wood. We might think about the tsunami, or Hurricane Katrina, and how despite the walls we build, how vulnerable we really are. When we build a sukkah we remember that our strongest foundation lies in our relationships with each other as well as our deeds. 

Sukkot is more than the reenactment of the Israelite’s wandering in the desert toward the Land of Promise. It is the acknowledgment that we are all wanderers in this world. We are all transients in the world’s ageless history, and when we erect a temporary sukkah, we are essentially nailing our tent pegs into the rich earth of eternity. We are acknowledging that we are transients, but we are simultaneously staking our faith in everlasting truth. When we realize the beauty and hope of Sukkot, we cannot help but rejoice.

May we rejoice of the many blessings and abundances that we count in our lives.

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