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    Facing a challenge

    sukkahOnce upon a time I was a youth work professional in Britain. I visited and tried to help Jewish youth clubs up and down the United Kingdom.

    Among my tasks was to initiate Jewish programming. One year I thought of an inter-club sukkah building competition.

    One entry came from a club that had its own premises but though it erected a fine sukkah its entry did not and could not win because the sukkah was indoors, inside the club building, under the club roof and not under the sky as the halachah requires.

    I was told quite disarmingly that this was in order to save the sukkah from getting wet if it rained or being blown about in strong wind. Ingenious – but unacceptable as a sukkah.

    This led me to offer a homily that life is like a sukkah, and human beings have to learn to stand up for themselves and face the buffeting of rain, wind and misfortune.

    The reality of life is that you can’t be like Jonah and hide away from challenge.

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