Sukkot (Holidays Exodus 33:12–34:26)
This Week’s Torah Portion: Shabbat Chol HaMo-eid Sukkot (Holidays Exodus 33:12–34:26)
Why do we build a Sukkah? That is a great question, we argued about the right answer for about 200 years and did not come to a conclusion.
One answer is that the Sukkah represents the memory of the Divine presence leading our ancestors when they wandered in the desert for 40 years. “God went before them in a pillar of cloud by day, to guide them along the way,” (Exodus 13:21). When we enter the Sukkah we feel for a moment the presence of the Divine guiding us on our life journeys as we wander through our desert. May you have a Joyous Sukkot, please come and visit the temple Sukkah.
On the Shabbat during Sukkot, we are reminded of the age-old desire to know God. Moses implores God to let him see God. While God will not allow Moses to see God’s face, God tells Moses, “I will make My goodness pass before you…” Perhaps we experience the divine presence through the goodness we create in the world. The Torah then sets forth the thirteen attributes of God, among them that God is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger and abounding in kindness. By emulating these very attributes, we create the goodness which allows us to know God.