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Sukkot 5778


Tonight begins the joyous holiday of Sukkot, the "time of our rejoicing...the festival of the ingathering at the turn of the year". We celebrate nature's bounty at the same time that we acknowledge our vulnerability to the elements by sitting in a sukkah that is open to the sky. On Shabbat we will read a portion from the Book of Exodus in which Moses begs G-d not to forsake the Israelites, the "stiff-necked people", but to choose them above all others. G-d instructs Moses to bring up to Mount Sinai a second set of tablets upon which G-d will write the 10 Commandments. (Moses had broken the first set in anger when he saw the Golden Calf.) "And He said: 'Behold! I will form a covenant; in the presence of all your people, I will make distinctions such as have not been created upon all the earth and among all the nations...'" During these beautiful holy days, as we celebrate in the temporary dwellings meant to remind us of our exodus from Egypt, may we pray for the many thousands of people whose homes have recently been damaged or destroyed by natural disasters. And may we find concrete ways--through donations of money, supplies, or time--to help them rebuild their lives. Now, more than ever, we must work to repair our troubled world.

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