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    I don’t understand our Jews

    Lulav etrogJews are strange.

    They complain it is hard to be Jewish. They ask for Judaism to be made easier. They give themselves dispensations.

    Yet the two days they observe most are the hardest – Pesach and Yom Kippur. Both make great demands, but both have a firm hold on the Jewish people.

    Sukkot, by comparison, is observed by much smaller numbers.

    How many families build a sukkah? More than previously, but still only a minority.

    How many buy or at least use the lulav and etrog? A larger minority, but a minority.

    Yet Sukkot is z’man simchatenu, “our festival of joy”, and is much less demanding on the body and soul than are Pesach and Yom Kippur.

    Someone ought to start a campaign on behalf of Sukkot.

    In the days of the sages it was he-chag, the festival; Yom Kippur was yoma, the day. So why does Sukkot lose out in comparison to Yom Kippur?

    Perhaps because people are tired after the Days of Awe. Perhaps because Yom Kippur is familiar territory whilst many have never really experienced Sukkot.

    But we need both days. Yom Kippur says it is possible to override the needs of the body for the sake of the soul; Sukkot asserts it is possible to serve the soul through the body.

    Yom Kippur preaches service through awe, Sukkot service through joy.

    Yom Kippur without Sukkot does not give a full picture.

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