Dear Holy Friends,
Many of us are blessed with amazing memories of the festive holiday of Sukkoth which follows the serious introspection of the High Holiday season. In fact, this is the only holiday in the Torah, wherein, we are commanded to rejoice and be happy!!!!
And We Will!!!!
The seven days of Sukkot which will take place from October 2-9 this year—are celebrated by dwelling in the Sukkah, taking the Four Kinds (lulav, etrog, willow and myrtle) and rejoicing! These days are followed by Simchat Torah which represents the restarting of the Torah text reading.
On Sukkot, we typically expose ourselves to the elements of nature surrounded by greenery and dwelling in huts. The holiday commemorates God sheltering our ancestors as they traveled from Egypt to the Promised Land. The “Four Kinds” express our unity and our belief in God’s omnipresence. Coming after the solemn High Holidays, it is a time of joy and happiness.
The first two days (or one day in Israel) are Yom Tov, when work is forbidden, candles are lit in the evening, and festive meals are preceded with Kiddush and contain challah dipped in honey. The remainder of the days are “quasi holidays”, known as Chol Hamoed.
We will be hosting services for all of these festivals!
As you may understand, this year, due to the pandemic, we will not be gathering in the Synagogue formally so we will miss the opportunity to “dwell together” under the Divine protection of the Sukkah. If it turns out that we can build a Sukkah on premises, even symbolically, we will do so.
Let us wish you joy and blessings during this festive time of year as we together work to get “back to normal.”
Rabbi Eric L. Wasser, EdD