Sukkot is a time to rejoice and reconnect with our heritage. It's a time to strengthen our bonds with our community and a time to remember the sacrifice our ancestors made as they fled slavery in Egypt. It reminds us of the fragility of humanity and it grounds us in nature, in the harvest and in the land.
We build a sukkah to remember and to carry forward this important tradition. We hold the lulav and etrog to connect us to our ancestors and to the bounty of the earth. Jewish continuity is at the heart of our community and the very essence which enables us to persevere, to stand with Israel and to fight for freedom. For this, I feel truly blessed to be surrounded by endearing people who share and live by these values every day.
We live in perilous times. But the sukkah reminds us that we have experienced trials and tribulations before. The wind has blown down our fragile homes, but each time we have come together as a community to rebuild in strength and unity.
All over the world, there are people who are pushing back against the dark forces which threaten to consume us. We see fighting and poverty around the planet. We see rising extremism and those who march with a destructive agenda.
But more significantly, we see more and more people building tents of hope (sukkahs) by bringing people together. We see this in the educators that receive us; in the police who embrace us and in the students who celebrate life with us.
We - humanity - are all in this "sukkah" together.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach,