Message from Moreh Greg

Message from Moreh Greg

Sep 28, 2018
posted in Greg's Dvar

This week’s middah is based on the Sukkot Torah reading which teaches us, ‘חגותם חג לה  – “You shall perform a celebration for God”. Judaism teaches us that to celebrate is a mitzvah. There are many celebrations in Judaism — but Sukkot is particularly designated as זמן שמחתינו (zeman simchateinu)- “a time of our rejoicing”. We rejoice because it is the harvest season; we rejoice because in the Land of Israel rain returns after a long dry summer; we rejoice because God cared for us when we wandered in the desert; we rejoice because we have dwellings that both protect us from the elements and allow us to see the stars above us.

This week, during Chol Ha’moed — the intermediary days of Sukkot and Pesach — we greet another person by saying “Mo’adim Lesimchah,” which translates loosely as “Times of Joy”. On Sukkot, in particular, one responds by saying: “Chaggim uzmanim lesasson!” – ‘May your celebrations and times be joyous.”

Today, and on Shabbat we celebrate the last two days of Chol Hamo’ed Sukkot; on Sunday we conclude Sukkot with Hoshana Rabbah; the next day is Shemini Atzeret, a time when prayers or celebrations for rain and a good harvest are made; Tuesday is Simchat Torah when we dance with the Torah to celebrate a new cycle of Torah learning. Our calendar is blessed with many days of rejoicing, and so I wish you all,

Shabbat Shalom, Mo’adim Lesimchah, Vechag Sameach,

Moreh Greg.

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