Sukkot started Sunday night, and as the week has continued to unfold, Jews around the world have been celebrating this ancient festival by dwelling in huts. These frail and open structures serve to remind us of our ancestral wanderings in the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt. They represent an ancient ritual which, like the Passover Seder, helps us relive the past so we can have a positive impact on the future.
To this end, the sukkah is a physical reminder of our abiding vulnerability. One strong wind can blow the entire structure down reminding us that we too are vulnerable to sudden changes in life. Yet, our decision to eat and dwell in these modest shelters is purely voluntary. This is not the case for the millions of refugees seeking asylum on foreign soil nor is it the situation for tens of millions living in poverty in the United States. For them, shelter and food are as unpredictable as the winds of nature.
As I mentioned in my Yom Kippur Day Sermon, (CLICK HERE), the rituals of our faith are but folly if they do not serve as a catapult to action. As we dwell and celebrate in our huts, it is my hope that our hearts will be moved to help those in need. If you are interested in getting involved in a committee devoted to addressing issues of social justice, please respond to this electronic message. We are collecting responses and will soon gather to direct our efforts.