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Study and Theory/

From a Ceremony of Hamahanot haolim educator movement

A blessing on the Sukkot holiday

on a trip to Ein Gedi, 2014

"And you shall rejoice in your feast ... and you shall be only joyous" (Deuteronomy 16).

"Even though on all the festivals it is obligatory to rejoice, on the festival of Sukkot there was an extra measure of joy in the Temple, as it says," And you shall be joyful before the G-d your Lord - seven days..." And how was this joy: the flute is played along with the violin and harps and cymbals, every musician with the instrument he is trained to play, and those apt vocally, would sing, and they would dance, and clap and pound and jump, and leap, each and every one as much as he is capable of, and they would chant words of song and praise. " (Laws of Lulav, Chapter 8)


It is a great mitzvah to rejoice on Sukkot. Especially on Sukkot. We have gathered here today from our homes, from our groups, from our families, from our life cycles, to rejoice together.


Why is this joy so great now?


On the holiday of Succot we are commanded to sit in Sukkot. The sukkah, a temporary home, marks the distance between nature and culture. Man, needs nature, he needs flora and fauna, he needs substances scattered in nature, he needs light, warmth of the sun and embraces of the wind. But man, whose advantage lies in the power of creativity - while he processes nature and produces commodities for his use - establishes culture.


A sukkah is a house. A house that man is required to build for himself. It is not ready made. It is not ordinarily found in nature. Man must take action, create - in order to merit the mitzvah of sukkah. He must create a home for him that, to a certain extent, shall house him during these seven days. However, it is a temporary home. It does not have the comfort that we are accustomed to in our everyday life. It is influenced by nature, more exposed to its temperament.


Thereupon we celebrate. Over the abundance of life and goodness found in nature, and we celebrate the faith that lives within us that this plentitude aims at upgrading our lives, to enrich them and to enhance them; as well as our belief in our ability to create, to create objects from raw material, from null, from the desert.


Going out to the desert demands of us the requirement of the Sukkah - to return to the starting point, where natural resources and the beauty of creation are opened to us, and we must find our way to make them essential to our existence. We must conquer the mountain, set up a campfire, prepare a feast, arrange a safe space for us to sleep, we must take action while making contact with nature and with partners - to survive in the desert.


And look and see -  how good is our joy that is multiplied over and over. After all, it is not only the initial experience that we welcome today, not only the glory of creation and of our renewed awareness of the creative forces hidden in us, but also of the harvest.


The harvest of our grain, the harvest of our physical and spiritual fruits. We also welcome today the products of the work. Our brotherly love, the friendship, the alliance between us and our covenant with the people of Israel, the Israeli people and the Land of Israel. Over life projects, educational projects that revive one's soul and arouse its wellsprings, over the courage that materializes as we create a free, egalitarian society in which peace shall prevail, as well as, hopefully, the brotherhood of nations.

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