Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sukkot as a Festival of Peace and Security

Yom Kippur is now behind us and the next holiday is just around the corner, the festival of Sukkot. Sukkot is known as "Z'man Sim'chah'tay'nu," the time of our rejoicing. In ancient times when there was a sacificial rite in the Temple they brought 70 booths or 7 days. Why 70? According to Biblical calculations, there were 70 nations. What is interesting is that it is not until the 8th day, when we observe the holiday of Shemini Atzeret, was a sacrifice really brought for the Jews themselves. For the first 7 days, the Sukkot holiday is dedicated to the benefit of the nations of the world. God should shower them with blessing. God should give them water for their crops and bless them.

That same theme is also seen in the structure of the sukkah itself. Its generally built with four walls, like a house. It can have as few as 2 1/2 walls, but they must be able to withstand the elements like winds. The roof is made out of schach, piece of wood, tree limbs, etc. The sun can still come in while shade is still somewhat provided. While the walls protect us, the roof is open. So even as we take care of ourselves we are still looking up at the sun, stars, light and nations of the world. Even when you take the four species, the lulov and etrog, when we shake them we shake them all around us. Again, toward all the nations of the world. What we want to bring to the nations of the world is a message of peace and security. The message of Sukkot. This is very true today as we see what is happening at the UN and in Iran. We need to pray for the benefit of the nations of the world, that we can all live in peace and security. May this festival of joy be a festival for all the nations of the world and may we soon see peace prevail throughout the world.


This is post number 1300 in 2012


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