יום רביעי, נובמבר 02, 2005

Succot Part I

The College built a massive Succah which propted the question by my non-jewish friends: "What's with the palm fronds?" And they hadn't even seen a lulav and etrog yet.

Being an obvious Jew, I get these question alot and have done fairly well with the easy ones. "What's on your head?" "What's with the strings?" "What do you do on your Shabbat?" With these sort of questions is you need a 4 line answer. And you'd better be sure the first 3 are really good.

So this was asked of me at 7:30am over breakfast and I'm still waking up. I told her I'd get back to her. No theoligy before 9am. Also this was a Hindu who was asking me so I didn't even have bible story knowlege to rely on.

After a bit of thought I put together the following lines:


"What's with the palm fronds?"

That's the question people have been asking me for the past week. Hmmm...

Succot is a holiday of thanksgiving. It's about recognizing the gifts of God we have in our lives. The palm leaf living area you can see outside the dining room windows shows this in two ways.

  1. This time of year is the end of the harvest season. When we gather in all our accomplishments of the year it can be easy to say "I'm great! I did all this by myself!". We leave our houses and live in temporary, fragile, exposed huts to emphasize how everything, our homes, our wealth, and even our physical protection is in God's hands.
  2. About 3,500 years ago, the Jewish nation spent 40 years living in the desert completely reliant on God for all our shelter and protection. By living for a week in a way reminiscent of that transient lifestyle we celebrate our connection to God in that we know he protects us, past and present.

Sukkot begins Monday evening, October 17 and continues until Wednesday, October 26th 2005.

People will be eating downstairs in the Sukkah for the week, please feel free to join.


I hung it up on the notice board and throughout the week was intermittantly joind by friends "Can I bring my coffee into your succah?". Except for the rain (proving we should all be doing these mitzvot in Israel) it was a lovely holiday.