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Maccabi World Union Succot 5780 Message - Jewish Continuity & Jewish Action

Kfar Maccabiah
Monday, September 2, 2019 | ‏ב' אלול תשע"ט
Succot חג הסוכות
Jewish Continuity & Jewish Action
Dear friends,
When we write about Succot and the Succah, its distinctive symbol, we stress the need to recover the sense of humility that our actual relationship in the world with the mighty forces of Nature should give us - we are so often cold and indifferent to the world. The fragile structure of the Succah serves to return to us our own sense of human fragility, intimately connected and deeply linked to our inner beings and our bodies, and with the living body of Creation as a whole. Those of us who have been surprised by heavy rain while sitting in the frail walls of the Succah, experienced a mixture of joy on the one hand - due to the intrusion of such a natural phenomenon in the midst of our celebration - and on the other, confusion and consternation due to our lack of control over the surrounding environment.
 
The Succah can, however, be transformed into an exactly opposite symbol to the previous description. It can become an expression of profound strength, assertiveness and commitment, reflecting the solid spirit of a people in close union with their God. This symbolism is not inherent to the essence of Succah as such, but to the physical act of building it against all the odds.
 
There were many times - complete periods - when erecting a Succah meant real danger for Jews in various regions where persecution of our people was constant, and intruded on all aspects of life, physical, political and economic. Despite the dangerous consequences, smaller and larger communities of our people continued to erect Succot, their small huts of the Feast of Joy (HeChag[1]), in defiance of those who sought to impose paralysis on our beliefs, to impel us to renounce our faith - in other words, to induce our spiritual death. Rising above the threats and dangers, weak Succot represented the strength of a people who resisted discrimination, oppression and shame; a people who built through that act of building an attitude which achieved our permanence as a People carrying our eternal messages.
 
That attitude, that spirit, is what sustains our blessed State of Israel today. Chag Succot is also Chag Haasif[2], the Festival of the Harvest of the final summer fruits of the Land of Israel. Despite the dangerous risks, especially for farmers in fields bordering the Gaza Strip, threatened by murderous missiles and Molotov incendiary balloons of the terrorist organization Hamas, our country plants and harvests, creates and grows. The Succah and the harvesting - both exposed, both weak - are transformed through our action into sources of strength and expressions of life, might, commitment and ultimately, Jewish and national continuity.
 
May God bring joy, delight and exhilaration to our hearts in this Festival of Israel. May God put an end to the threats, dangers and anxieties that haunt us, making them disappear from our national, community and personal horizon, and return us to the essential symbolism of the Succah and our nature, our spirit, our frailty. And May God grant that all Am Israel, the Jewish People, will multiply actions of happiness, in the joint meaningful and transcendent celebration of our Great Festivals.
May this Succot bring all of you lots of happiness,
joy and hope.
With best wishes,
Chag Succot Sameach!
Chazak ve'ematz!
RABBI CARLOS TAPIERO
Deputy Director-General &
Director of Education
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[1] Vayk. XXIII, 39, 41; Bamid. XXIX, 12; Dev. XVI, 14; I Mel. VIII, 2; Yechez. XXXXv, 25; Nech. VIII, 18.
[2] Shemot XXIII, 16.
 
Maccabi World Union Succot 5780 Message - Jewish Continuity & Jewish Action
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As the community prepare to celebrate Succot, we hear a special message from Maccabi World Unions Rabbi Carlos Tapiero.