May 29, 2017 ~ Shabbat NASO. Maqam SABA.

Shabbat Vayelekh

Sukkot: Holiday of Continuity

בחג הסכות ... למען ישמעו ולמען ילמדו - You may have noticed a rare overlap between the calendar and the annual Torah reading cycle. The mention in the Torah of Sukkot is of significance at this time of year, because it reminds us what the real purpose of this holiday is. In Biblical times, at the end of the Sabbatical year, Sukkot is when everyone, young and old, male and female, would gather (Haqhel) in the nation's capital for a very educational purpose. This gathering is meant to review the basic themes of the Torah (to fear God and to understand the commandments) with the next generation of Israelites. A major aspect of our tradition's survival is its successful transmission to the youth. Our teacher, Moses, designated this holiday, the happiest time of the year; at a time when the harvest has been accomplished, when the weather is most pleasant, and when everyone is dining with their families and friends in symbolic tabernacles, to focus on continuity; to teach our way of life to our descendants so that one day, they can do the same (Beth Torah 10/15/16).


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