Living in the Paradox: Sukkot

Rabbi Toba Spitzer

By Rabbi Toba Spitzer  You shall live in sukkot seven days; all citizens of Israel shall live in sukkot, in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite people live in sukkot when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I YHVH your God. (Leviticus 23:42-43)   Building a sukkah, eating our meals in the sukkah, sleeping in the sukkah if the weather permits — all of these activities serve to remind us of some powerful truths. The sukkah is a simple structure; … [Read more...]

Rejoicing on Sukkot

Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

By Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld In the rhythm of Jewish time, the festival of Sukkot is known as “z’man simchateinu,” or “season of our joy.” On Sukkot, joy is halakhically mandated; we are not only invited to be joyful, we are obligated to do so. I don’t know about other people, but I do not respond well to being commanded to be joyful. It’s sort of like being told to relax. Tell me I must be happy, and I begin to feel vaguely melancholy and inadequate. The obligation … [Read more...]