As part of our commitment to Torah learning at Heschel, we start each of our staff meetings with a Devar Torah delivered by a teacher. This week, Morah Nechama from Grade 4 taught us about Chag Sukkot. She taught us that among the many laws governing the building of a Sukkah, is one that states that a Sukkah must be large enough to contain a person’s head and most of his or her body. Morah Nechama connected this 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 wandering 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 our senses: the smell and taste of the Etrog and parts of the Lulav, the temperature of the outside air, and the lustre of the stars that peek through the schakh of our Sukkot. We are invited to celebrate our world and our existence in it in a holistic way, in the same way that we learn each and every day here at Heschel.
In the coming days, may we all immerse ourselves in the celebration of Sukkot.