Chol HaMo-eid Sukkot – חוֹל הַמֹּעֵד סֻכֹּת (Exodus 33:12–34:26)
This Week’s Torah Portion: Chol HaMo-eid Sukkot – חוֹל הַמֹּעֵד סֻכֹּת (Exodus 33:12–34:26)
Chag HaSukkot Shameach (Happy Sukkot!) Everyone! This week’s Parsha is a detour from our regularly scheduled programming, brought to us by Sukkot. Shabbat falls within Chol HaMoed, the intermediary days of Sukkot. During these days we continue to dwell in the Sukkah, welcoming friends old and new to our makeshift tents to break bread and celebrate together. This Shabbat we read selections from Ki Tisa. The selected verses center on one of my favorite passages in the Torah. Moses comes back to the Mountain to God after his people have created (and subsequently destroyed) the golden calf. Moses desperately wants to “see” God. Perhaps if Moses can see God, his people will be able to see God and know that there truly is divine energy that is with them and guiding them. God explains that one “may not see [God’s] face and live] but tells Moses that God will allow Moses to see God’s back. Following this interaction, Moses literally glows. So much so, that the people of Israel cannot look at Moses fully without being blinded by this divine light. Going forward Moses must remember to cover his face to remain approachable and accessible to the people. These verses remind us that God’s light dwells within each one of us. They also challenge us to actively seek out that light within ourselves and to bring that light into the world. Yes, we have to work a little harder than Moses did the moment God revealed Godself to him on the back of a rock. This interaction we study is only the beginning of an eternal partnership between ourselves and God. We often need to dig very deep within ourselves to establish this kind of sacred connection. The work of Tikkun Olam- repairing the world in partnership with others in our community so that we might bring more of God’s light into this world is downright difficult although the reward is beyond great. Right before this interaction, Moses establishes a tent as his continued meeting place with God. While these verses do not appear in our special section for Chol HaMoed Sukkot, I appreciate that they align with our selected text because this week we are all dwelling in moveable temporary huts! In the spirit of this holiday and the amazing connections, we will build in our celebrations together let us bring those deep relationships into the world by working together for peace in any way that we can. Chag Sameach!