Next week, we celebrate Chag Sukkot. Sukkot is also known as Zeman Simchateinu—the time of our rejoicing! Our middah next week is: Celebrate the good things in our lives.
Among the many laws governing the building of a sukkah, there is one that states that a sukkah must be large enough to contain a person’s head and most of his or her body. This can be connected to our teaching approach here at Heschel: For good learning to take place, it must engage the whole person; a learner must be able to immerse him or herself fully inside the learning.
Sukkot is a chag in which we are commanded to sit in the sukkah as the ancient Jews did when they wandered in the desert. Another mitzvah is to hold the Etrog and Lulav together and wave it in all directions: east, south, west, north, up and down. Sukkot is a chag that invites us to think in four dimensions: the three spatial dimensions, as well as time.
Sukkot invites us to experience our world through all of our senses: the smell and taste of the Etrog and parts of the Lulav, the temperature of the outside air, and lustre of the stars that peek through the schakh of our sukkot. We are invited to celebrate our world and our existence in a holistic way, in the same way that we learn each day here at Heschel.
In the coming days, may we all immerse ourselves.