The festival of Sukkot is referred to in our holiday prayers as zeman simchatenu, "the Season of Our Joy," and this of course derives from the scriptural commandment, "And you should rejoice before HaShem your G-d for seven days." (Leviticus 23:40) Indeed, there is an irrepressible joy that fills and overflows the heart of every sukkah dweller, from the first day of the seven day festival to the last. To fulfill the commandment of building a temporary dwelling, and then to immerse our entire physical and spiritual beings in it for seven full nights and days is the closest thing we experience today to being within the courtyards of the Holy Temple itself, and this, no doubt, is a source of the intense joy of the sukkah. It is also a timely reminder that, just as everyone builds his and her own sukkah, and nobody expects it to descend from the heavens, fully accoutred and beckoning us to enter it, we should not deceive ourselves that the Holy Temple itself will one day descend from heaven, ready for us to bless it with our presence. On the contrary, the G-d that has commanded us to build each year a sukkah is the very same G-d who has commanded us to "Build for Me a sanctuary that I may dwell amongst them." (Exodus 25:8)
THE TEMPLE INSTITUTE WISHES ONE AND ALL A JOY FILLED FESTIVAL OF SUKKOT!
Tune in to this week's TEMPLE TALK and join Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven in the annual Temple Talk Sukkot Extravaganza - just what you need to start the joyous festival of Sukkot. What is the secret of Sukkot joy? What were the original "booths" of the Children of Israel in the desert (Lev. 23:43) - real booths, or Divine clouds of glory? Yitzchak Reuven and Rabbi Richman can hardly wait to take up residence in their respective temporary dwellings, to enjoy the rarified atmosphere of basking in the Divine Presence and feeling the enveloping embrace. May the lessons learned from these "temporary dwellings" stay with us all through the coming year!