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A Sukkot Message - MWU Dept of Education - 2021

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Kfar Maccabiah, September 2021
תשרי, תשפ"ב

 

Succoth – And spread over us Thy Succah of Peace

 

חג סוכות - ופרוס עלינו סוכת שלומך

 

Dear Friends,
The festival of Succot is also simply called “HeChag”[1] , the Festival of Joy par excellence.   The Children of Israel used to celebrate together in Jerusalem the fruitfulness of the Land of Israel, and the Divine Protection – with its main symbol, the Succah, the fragile booth which reminds us our 40 years of wandering in the wilderness on our way to the Promised Land.   

The Succah conveys many meaningful messages to contemporary Jews. Phylus of Alexandria (1st Century c.e.) teaches that the humble Succah provides us a lesson on social behavior: in times of prosperity, each person should remember all the poverty that surrounds him/her; in a period of success, one should be sensitive to the failures of others; while in peace, the dangers of war should be ever-present in our consciousness.  We must dwell in the Succah to develop our sympathy towards the setbacks in our own lives and towards those in the lives of others, and to commit ourselves to the repair of a world so much in need of renovation, warmth and consolation. 

The Succah is also Succat Shlomecha, the Succah of Divine, Eternal and Infinite Peace. It is a utopian image and, at the same time, an earthly one. It reminds Humanity that the aspiration towards peace must be permanently maintained; it also stays that to achieve that peace, we must work with our own hands, "raising that Sukkah of Peace" such as we do with our little cabins that celebrate this Festivity. It is not a dream about pacifism: the renunciation of other values in pursuit of peace is not demanded. It is the great effort to end the sources of evil that lead to war – the fullest affirmation of true Divine Peace, which coexists with values such as Equality, Respect, Freedom, Justice and Goodness. 

May the Almighty make this Festival of Succot the Joyful Festivity of Israel, and that the streets of the Land and the State of Israel reflect that prayer of Heavenly Peace – the real peace: the end of the threats of life against the Jewish State. 

 

 

May the Almighty spread over us His Succat Shlomecha, His Succah of Peace over the Jewish State and the whole House of Israel everywhere, and over the entire world! 

In these days and months of pandemic, may the fragility we feel deepen our sensitivity towards the weakness of the entire human race, to go out, together, hand in hand, determined and resolute to help each other. 

May this Succoth be a celebration of hospitality, love and caring of our brethren and of all humankind. 

With best wishes, 
Chag Succot Sameach!   
Chazak ve'ematz!   

RABBI CARLOS TAPIERO  
Deputy Director-General &  
Director of Education  

[1]      Vayk. XXIII, 39, 41; Bamid. XXIX, 12; Dev. XVI, 14; I Mel. VIII, 2; Yechez. XXXXv, 25; Nech. VIII, 18.

 

 

 

 

A Sukkot Message - MWU Dept of Education - 2021
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