If you grew up in a religious family, you probably remember Sukkot with great fondness: the sukkah, the dinners under the stars and the feverish atmosphere of building and cooking which precedes the week of celebration.
But even if you didn’t celebrate the holiday growing up, here are 4 reasons why we think you should start celebrating now:
- Sukkot is a period of rejoicing which comes after a more somber period in the Jewish calendar. In this way, it echoes life itself. Life is made of varied times: times for introspection and times for socialization, times for grieving and times for rejoicing, times of loneliness and times of comfort. No time, particularly the bad or bleak ones, will last forever. That is one of the messages of Sukkot.
- Sukkot tells us there is nothing insurmountable. The festival commemorates 40 years of wandering in the desert. What could be harder than that? But even in those circumstances, people survived and their descendants — us — are now here to celebrate. Sukkot tells us to not despair.
- Sukkot is a time to be shared with family and friends. Modern life is very atomized. Too often we find ourselves isolated and lonely. Sukkot is a time when it is easy to invite and get invited. Synagogues and other groups all over the world build sukkot and organize dinners. This is a time meant to be shared with all, young and old.
- Sukkot forces us to break from our routine and takes us out of our comfort zone. For an entire week, we are supposed to eat — and, if we can, live — in a temporary shelter. To leave our home and taste something different. To do things differently. To take it easy. And, more often than not, we deeply enjoy it all.
Celebrating Sukkot is a wonderful way to get into an energetic and renewed disposition after the introspective period of the High Holidays. It is a good time to put your New Year’s resolutions into action. And to contact us if finding your beshert is one of those resolutions!