More than any other Jewish holiday or ritual, I love the audacity of Sukkot. After the many profound words and seemingly endless prayers of the High Holidays, Sukkot offers a very different holiday mode. The main theme and ultimate goal of the holiday is to achieve climactic joy throughout the holiday, including the intermediate days, which are known as Chol HaMo-eid Sukkot.
Halloween brings me a bit of stress each year. On a very basic level, I'm just not a fan of this holiday that, in recent years, seems to have become so much bigger than ever before.
A young man came to a rabbi for a chat.
“I’ve bought a new car” said the young man to the rabbi.
“Congratulations,” he replied.
I grew up going to services. A lot of services. I was adept at counting the ceiling tiles, reaching into the thousands as my grasp of numbers grew more sophisticated. The melodies became part of my life soundtrack; I hummed them as my mind wandered during the rabbi’s sermon.