The sukkah is built to be a metaphor for the fragility of life and human endeavors. But this reality should not lead to despair. On the contrary, the symbol of the ever-fragile sukkah, prone to even a casual rainstorm, teaches us to see the importance of every day, every moment. This year, after a hurricane season and recent earthquakes that caused so much destruction, we are even more cognizant of this truth. We have witnessed buildings built of brick and cement collapse, but we have also seen the indomitable spirit that emerges from destruction, and we have been inspired by those individuals who have supported and comforted strangers half a world away.
Once again this year we have several opportunities to take part in the mitzvot surrounding the holiday. Several upcoming events at Temple Beth Ami will be held in our ‘Super-Sukkah’ and a Sukkot guide is also available at the Temple.
Some of the events in our Sukkah this year include:
Friday night, Oct. 6th at 8 PM we will have shabbat services in the sukkah, and we will once again host a surprise visitor to our Sukkah. Previous visitors included 442nd Veteran/Medal of Honor Winner George Sakato, Tariq Altas from SCV Islamic Center, Rev. Lynn Jay and Rev. Ricky Hoyt and Bryan Geroge.
Sunday night, Oct. 8th at 6 PM our annual Wine and Cheese Adult Social will be held at the Blazer Family Sukkah. Sometimes we also drink other things, like vodka, so don’t worry if you are not a wine drinker.
Then comes Simchat Torah. The holiday ranks with Purim for unbridled fun and craziness. The Torah Scrolls are taken from the Ark and carried in a parade of dance and song, called Hakafot, around the bimah. The Hakafot are performed seven times. Throughout the world as each Torah is opened for the year, the congregation rises and recites: "Chah-zak, cha-zak, v'nit'cha-zek, Be strong, be strong, and let us strengthen each other."
Join us this year at Temple Beth Ami for a Simchat Torah filled with music, dance, food and drink, Thursday night, Oct. 12th at 7 PM. Take part in unrolling the entire Torah scroll as we complete the yearly cycle of reading, and begin a new one. For those who are able to come early, we will be having pizza at 6 PM, immediately after religious school.
And that weekend please join us for our special Celebration of Life-Animal Service. Bring your pets and animal friends to this unique outdoor experience. As we read the story of Noah, Saturday, October 14th, 12 PM.
CHAH-ZAK, CHA-ZAK, V'NIT'CHA-ZEK.
BE STRONG. BE STRONG. MAY WE ALL BE STRENGTHENED.
Rabbi Mark Blazer