Sukkot

A few years ago, two Jewish couples in Israel were discussing the mad rush for trinkets (flags, keychains and more) that are given out by thousands of Christian marchers to parade watchers along the route of the Jerusalem March during Sukkot. Northern Shomron (Samaria) resident Naomi Weiss said to her friends Gabi and Shmuel Tair, “They came all this way to support Israel. We should be giving them stuff!”

Back in their respective countries, each share a love for Israel, are Shabbat and festival observant and “eat clean” similar to the strict Kashrut standards by which Orthodox Jews hold. But they did not grow up observing these traditions – many began as traditional Christians only to stumble on a Bible passage that sparked their interest in returning to the roots of the Christian tradition – the Hebrew Bible.

It is said that when man plans, God laughs; so when my dear friend and colleague, Shlomo Vile called me late last night to invite me for a Sukkot ascension to the Temple Mount, I could hear God laughing in the background. Of course, I said ‘yes.’ Shlomo is an amazing man and if he had invited me to sit on a beach and munch on rocks I would have agreed, knowing it would be an uplifting and spiritual experience. I figured walking with Shlomo where the Temple once stood would be a trip to heaven and, as it turned out, I wasn’t too far off.

When coming out of Egypt, as well as during harvests, Jews lived in sukkot (booths or tabernacles). By leaving their sturdy homes, eating and sleeping in the sukkah, the Jewish people demonstrated trust that God would continue to take care of them throughout their trials and tribulations. It is through this dependence on God that the people realized that God protects them – a realization that brings comfort and joy.