Days after the deep introspection of Yom Kippur, our tradition tells us to get out of our homes and dwell in temporary outdoor structures, shake the lulav and etrog, sing Hallel, and engage in the embodied ritual experience of Sukkot. In doing so, we come face to face with the realities of our fragility and vulnerability while acknowledging the profound blessings of safety, security, and the abundance of our literal or symbolic harvests. We invite you to explore these resources to add greater meaning and delight to this season of joy.
Rabbi Shai Held: Covenantal Joy
The Torah insistently connects the festival of Sukkot with the obligation to rejoice, and later Jewish tradition calls Sukkot z’man simhateinu (the time of our joy.) Why is Sukkot singled out among all other holidays as the time of happiness and delight? Understanding the joy associated with Sukkot helps us gain crucial insight into the nature and dynamics of God’s covenant with the Jewish people.
Nizakher Venikatev: A Reflective Guide for Sukkot
During this year that has been so challenging for so many of us, what have been your sources of joy? How could you connect more to joy in these early days of the new year? Explore these questions and more in the latest installment of Nizakher Venikatev, a series developed by Marshall T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellows alumnae Abi Weber and Margo Hughes-Robinson.
Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell: A Practice of Persistence
Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell is the director of Camp Ramah in Canada. Previously, he was a teacher of Jewish mindfulness and the program director of the Jewish mindfulness meditation teacher-training program of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. He was a recipient of the 2014 Covenant Foundation Pomegranate Prize.
Rabbi David Rosenn: Sukkot and the Completeness of Teshuvah
Rabbi David Rosenn serves as Executive Director of the Hebrew Free Loan Society, whose mission is to provide financial stability and opportunity for lower-income New Yorkers of all backgrounds. For more information about using ancient Jewish methods to drive twenty-first-century microfinance in New York City, visit www.hfls.org.
Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater: Sukkot and the Daily Fragility of Being Homeless
Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater is the Executive Director of Friends in Deed, a local, religious-based non-profit addressing homelessness and poverty in the greater Pasadena area. After 5 years in congregations on the east coast, he served 12 years as senior rabbi of Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center, where he established himself as an activist and interfaith leader, forming and sustaining coalitions for justice, peace and dialogue.