Congregation Beth Ahm
362 Palisado Ave.
Windsor, CT 06095
860-688-9989

CongregationBethAhm.org
RabbiAlan@CongregationBethAhm.org

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Meet Rabbi Alan Lefkowitz
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GREATER HARTFORD BEAT THE CLOCK AUCTION
GREATER HARTFORD BEAT THE CLOCK AUCTION


Rabbi's Message



Harvest Time!

First there is Rosh Hashanah, followed by
Yom Kippur
. This we know well!
And then there comes Sukkot, which immediately follows.

We read in the book of Ecclesiastes: “There‘s nothing new under the sun.” We build a booth. We hang fruits and vegetables, and then some of us hop from Sukkah to Sukkah, if we are blessed to have several Sukkot in the community.

The holiday of Sukkot comes from ancient times, when  harvest booths from old harvests, were done to appeal to the Greater Power for a good next rain and harvest by displaying, with thanks, the fruits of the earth from this season.

But it goes deeper and is more mystical.

In the Bible, our Torah, our teachings given to us are about the ‘why questions. ‘“Why are we here, how are we supposed to live, think and experience this world?”

At different times in life, we take a personal accounting, or measure, of where we are.

On the High Holy Days we take an account through self-introspection and self-reflection of our essence and measure our behaviors.

On Yom Kippur we look at where our reflections have taken us, and linger in that final chance to resolve how to take on our new directions. On Sukkot, harvest time, we take a look at our sustenance and the abundance we have gathered. The Torah reminds us that we are not the sum of our gathered sustenance.

Gathering fruits in ancient time was potentially a time for the strongest sense of self and self-accomplishment.

The piles of grain or squash represented work and its results, representing the power to withstand the coming months. It is a time to experience the strength of being in our home.

For Sukkot, we are asked to leave our house, to build something that is even if it is technically temporary; to eat and experience sitting inside something that is made of branches, being able to see the stars through that ceiling at night; removing ourselves from the strength of our home into a fragile structure; reminding us of the fragility of life; moving into a situation of required trust.

And then – we are asked to celebrate in it. Sukkot is referred to as “z’man simhatenu”, the time of our joy. How emphatic a point is that!

Incidentally there are lots of words in Hebrew that mean “joy!" as opposed to fun.

Our Sukkot lessons: to reap our harvest, count our grain, display the fruits publicly, and move into the temporary space, and call this time; a time of our joy.

Showing up for Yom Kippur and skipping Sukkot & Simchat Torah is like showing up for your wedding, going under the Chupah and then running off!

On Yom Kippur, we are under the Chupah with God. Sukkot is the seven days of rejoicing. Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah is to be your time alone rejoicing with your "better half" God!

The Torah says, “Celebrate! Enjoy your abundance, hold high your accomplishments, and love your homes. The best is yet to come!”

Shalom,
- Rabbi Alan




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