October 3rd, 2020 — Sukkot I 5781
In the Shulhan Arukh (code of Jewish law), Rav Yosef Karo teaches that, during Sukkot, we are to treat our regular dwelling as temporary and our sukkah as permanent. This Jewish law demands that we acknowledge the unsettling truth that everything we see and touch won’t last forever, that our lives are, in fact, more like fragile sukkot than like steel and cement. Facing this truth can lead one to wonder whether all our efforts are worthwhile, a question that echoes throughout the book of Kohelet, which we read during Sukkot. However, by urging us to treat the sukkah as our true home, Rav Karo also teaches that we should similarly invest in the short, fragile, beautiful lives we’ve been given.