It only really hit me this evening just how close we are to Sukkos. I feel a bit overwhelmed; a bit unprepared; but also, I’m looking forwards to the Yom Tov more than I thought I would. Quite frankly, I love Sukkos. It brings joy and memories which I truly appreciate amidst the hectic rush of the other festivals- and it also happens to be endlessly meaningful.
Everything in life is transient- except, of course, for the Torah- but including life itself. As a baalas teshuva, and as someone who seems to experience immeasurable changes on a regular basis in my personal and religious life, I can relate to transience in a truly unique way. In many ways, I feel Sukkos is my festival.
As soon as Yom Kippur ends, we begin building our sukkah, and for a week, we live in it- or at least eat in it- the comforts of our indoor dining table snatched away from us as soon as we’ve recovered from the fast. Then suddenly, Sukkos is over, and we’re taking down the hut we so lovingly constructed, eating indoors again, and counting down the days to the next festival.
It’s a bit of a culture shock to say the least.
And then there’s me. One of my biggest fears is change; one of my biggest obstacles is this fear of change. And as I stood in shul on Yom Kippur, I confessed this sin of resisting change, and I prayed G-d to forgive me and help me. I can’t do it alone, I told Him. And then today, as I sat down to look through the pictures of sukkahs, wondering how I would celebrate the festival, I realised that G-d is sending me a message through the laws of Sukkos.
He’s telling me that it’s okay to be frightened of change. That’s normal. But sometimes, we need to accept it in order to serve Him, and in order to better ourselves. Sukkos is a lesson in accepting not only transcience, and our own reliance on G-d, but also the changes of the world. No matter how hard it rains on our sukkah, the most important things- family, friends, and G-d- lie within our hearts and souls, safe from the forces of the outside world.