Happy Sukkot –


October 16th, 2016

Today begins the Sukkot Festival. Like any Jewish holiday, so does this one, too, have layers of meaning and a uniqueness, both in significance and in action. 

Like in Passover, we do a lot of things we do not normally engage in, which facilitates the making of spiritual and other changes and personal growth. We are required to joy in this holiday, more than any other, and that while we are to dwell in a temporary not very secure booth, as far as our present times are concerned, and surely taking into account the political state our country is in. To eat and sleep in a Sukkah – a dwelling which is not even really a building, almost outside, all week long. And yet – “you shall rejoice at your feast and be altogether joyful” (Deuteronomy 16:14-15).

It is not easy to be joyful while being at the same time in challenging conditions.

Try to rejoice while you are afraid of something, or feeling insecure – you shall find it impossible.

Thus, we are to make an effort and focus on the here and now, on what we have, and not allow fear of a risk to sabotage this focus. For our happiness comes from joy, not fear or insecurity.

Judaism, therefore, requires us to act out of risk management and calculated effort. It requires us to lay aside our search of security, because it does not exist. To do that it makes us go out of our house, where we have the illusion of security, our comfort zone, and moves us for a week into the Sukkot, which cannot by any stretch of imagination be called “secure”, increasing the feeling of insecurity even more. However, we are required to not allow this feeling and fear of the risk to disrupt our festive joy and high frequency emotions, growth, going through personal change processes…

Moreover, the well-known symbolism of the “4 species” reminds us that it makes no difference who we are and how we usually act. On this holiday everyone is viewed and treated the same way, and all are to go through this process equally.

It makes no difference whether you are like the etrog (citron) fruit, which has both taste and scent, symbolizing people who both study and do; or like the lulav (date palm branch), which has taste but no scent, like those who do, but do not study; or like the hadas (myrtle leaves), which have scent but no taste, like those who study bit do not implement; or, finally, like the arava (willow branch), which has neither taste nor scent, as are those who neither study nor do, and just go with the flow. Everyone is the same on this holiday, all need to make an effort, all must manage the risk and not search for security, all are to find ways to focus on the good already possessed and not on what they lack (like security of any kind), to allow all the privilege to rejoice and grow.

And so, if we extrapolate this on our organizations and their Quality, let’s adopt a rule that anyone, no matter which of the 4 species they resemble the most, gets the chance of growing and developing, being empowered and managing risks. And, naturally, it begins with ourselves.

Let us not forget that we are not to look for false security, nor feel resentment or anger about what we lack or do not have enough of. We are to remember that which we are to focus on, in order to be able to free the energy we need for improving the situation. And to remember that everyone plays a role in this game, and we may never know ahead of time what role each of us has been allotted. Therefore, everyone is equally entitled to empowerment, no matter their type, and we must allow them to be themselves and grow where they are right now, without judgment, with joy and from the love of our fellow man.

The results shall come, and we wouldn’t know who shall be the source of our greatest joy and pride for all, or when the change shall be manifested. Just trust the process and allow it to happen, without attempting to control it, without trying to achieve some sort of security, for there is no such thing.

Happy Sukkot and significant changes to all!

I have designed a special holiday greeting card in the form of a mandala, which you can view on top of the page.