Many of us woke up this morning still feeling the weight of Yom Kippur: in our dehydrated heads, our somewhat empty stomachs, and even in the depths of our souls. Yom Kippur is an emotional rollercoaster of deep reflection that ends with the triumphant nature of the Ne’ilah service. Lest we think the holidays were slowing down any time soon, many people across the world awoke this morning to begin to build their sukkot for the biblical holiday: The Feast of Booths (Sukkot).
Harkening back to our biblical text (Deut. 16:1) we learn:
Three times a year—on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, on the Feast of Weeks, and on the Feast of Booths — the Israelites were to appear before God in a place that God would select. The Israelites were not to appear before God empty-handed.
Now, there’s no Third Temple standing in Jerusalem for us to make pilgrimage to, so where might we go and appear before God with something in our hands? I would say, that we should all journey right back to Temple Emanu-El! And what should be in your hands, you might ask? Coats and canned goods for our Operation Isaiah collection bins. Our collections bins will be accepting donations for a couple more days, so please try to stop by with your items. When we clothe those who shiver and feed those who are hungry we appear before God not only with full hands but with full hearts.
Wishing you a meaningful and fulfilling Sukkot (this first night begins Sunday at sundown).