The sukkah is a symbol of fragility. We build the temporary structure each year and know that it is only meant to last for the week-long holiday. It sways in the breeze. The raindrops land inside. The animals nibble at our decor. We know it could come crashing down on us.
Like a giant tent spread atop three tall pillars that support it and give it shape, the Jewish year is held up by the Shalosh R'galim, the "three pilgrimage festivals" Pesach commemorates the joy of liberation and freedom, Shavuot acknowledges the power of God's word reveale
Way back in July 1990, when my daughter Katie was two years old, Ellen turned to our little girl and said, "Tell Daddy something he doesn't know." Katie whispered, smiling shyly, "Today is Mommy's birthday." Can you say doghouse?
I grew up loving this holiday – until I learned the dark side and felt like a kid discovering that there’s no Santa Claus. It turns out Hanukkah is, in part, a tale of Jew vs. Jew.
No matter how I might dream of trekking the beautiful, wide-open spaces of the Canadian wilderness-truth be told, I avoid tents, cold water, and bad weather whenever possible. I prefer to travel in the wilderness of Torah.
I’ve come to the conclusion we need to change the date of Simchat Torah. Our Jewish festivals must be re-envisioned as inspirational community gatherings of joyful spiritual Jewish celebration. Every single festival needs to be a time of great community involvement and meaning.