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Jewish Culture

The Current Jewish Holiday – Sukkos

By Moshe Unger
Posted 9/24/21

I heard the following story from Charlie Harari. Charlie is a businessman. He qualifies to be a Rabbi, but he insists on being called Charlie without Rabbi… Google him; he puts out a lot of …

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Jewish Culture

The Current Jewish Holiday – Sukkos

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I heard the following story from Charlie Harari. Charlie is a businessman. He qualifies to be a Rabbi, but he insists on being called Charlie without Rabbi… Google him; he puts out a lot of interesting content online.

He told a story of a friend who had a rocky marriage. This individual did something really bad, and his wife kicked him out of the house. They went to therapy to try to salvage the marriage. As it progressed, he related to Charlie what’s going on.

One day, during a therapy session, the wife turns to the husband and says, “You know what? I forgive you. I thought about it, and I decided to forgive you!” The husband was shocked, and he says, “OMG, yes? Wow, Thank you so much!” He then says, “Okay, so see you tonight, I’m moving back to the house.” She answered, “No!” He says, “What do you mean?” You forgave me.” She answered, “I forgave you, but I’m not sure that I want to live with you!”

She saw the husband’s puzzled look, so she explained, “look, I decided to forgive you, that means, I understand that you made a mistake, and I don’t want to hold a grudge anymore. I don’t hold anything against you in my heart. However, that doesn’t mean I want to live with you!

The Jewish calendar is now in its busiest season, as I’m sure my readers know. We are now up to the holiday of Sukkos, which is a nine-day holiday. Some of the days are like Shabbos (Saturday), where we don’t do anything that has an element of creation, including driving and using technology, and some of the days are like weekdays in this regard.

There are special Mitzvos (Commandments) in the holiday. One is to eat the daily meals in a hut. The hut consists of walls and tree branches, bamboos, or anything natural as the roof. There are many reasons and meanings to it and literally every year I study to uncover more meaning and more depth. Let me share some of it.

Charlie used the above story as a parable to explain the holiday of Sukkos. We just came out of intense days of awe beginning with Rosh Hashanah and culminating with Yom Kippur. During the year, we sometimes forget about G-d. We forget what’s important and what we value and cherish. Awe with a mix of fear is an amazing tool to get a person to reconsider their priorities. With introspection, prayer, asking forgiveness, etc. we tried to reconcile with G-d, with our friends and family, and with our soul inside.

Reconciliation is the first step. The next step is to say we want to live with all that in our daily lives. All the lessons we learned and tried to invoke in ourselves during the days of awe are now lying on our hearts, but we need to integrate them, so that it should become part of us during the year.

We build the Sukkah huts and “live” there for a few days to do that. It’s a time to try to live with our souls, with family and friends, and with G-d, so that next year during the days of awe we can go to the next level.

“The journey of the heart and mind is the most scenic trail, the most challenging slope, and the best country to trek through.” May we all continue further from strength to strength with health and much abundance.

Comments? Email me: moshe@mosheunger.com.

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