Thursday, September 20, 2018

Sukkot the Great Equalizer

Sukkot the Great Equalizer

The Patriarchs and Matriarchs of Judaism were no welfare case that’s for sure. Especially Abraham and Ya’akov (Jacob) acknowledged their wealth came from God and not man and by honest hard work. They took no charity. And though we were once slaves in Egypt doesn’t mean we were ignorant country bumpkins and uneducated drones. How else could the people make such beautiful and detailed tabernacle and furnishings in the desert?

Our founding families were no Donald Trump, Bill Gates or Prince Charles, but they weren’t trailer park or project material either. There was balance. Our Patriarchs and Matriarchs knew the extremes of wealth and utter dependence upon God. We never saw wealth get in their way of being humble, hospitable and obedient to God.

In the Diaspora we may not be Bill Gates either but with technology and life in western society we are not tribesmen in the bush either. I find the Festival of Sukkot like a Basic Training, Military type exercise for us to rough it and be more dependent upon God for at least one week out of the year and are subject to the elements. Our people are not so hoity-toity to curl out upper lip at sleeping out in a shack with a see through roof. Sukkot is also a type of annual societal equalizer to where no matter how monetarily rich or poor you may be you are to build a shack and rough it for a week and everyone is welcome in the Sukkah, from Gentile neighbors to our wealthy Patriarchal ancestors.

It is tradition to symbolically verbalize an invitation each day to our founding couples and other Bible Greats into our Sukkah; Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Ya’akov (Jacob) and Leah, Ya’akov (Jacob) and Rachel, Moses and Miriam his sister, Elijah, and a few others.

During Sukkot we are reminded that our wealth and health does not mean much in the eternal scheme of things and that in the here and now they are gifts from God. We are reminded that both health and wealth are fragile like our Sukkah and can be blown over if a huge storm arose. We realize our true sustenance and dependence is souly on God our Creator.

Kris Shoemaker – Yehudah ben Shomeyr