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    Surprised by joy – Sukkot

    Why is Sukkot called Z’man Simchatenu, “Our Festival of Joy”?

    CS Lewis wrote a book about his early life titled “Surprised by Joy”. The name is from a sonnet by Wordsworth mourning the death of his daughter Catherine in 1812. Lewis said that joy was “almost as unlike security or prosperity as it is unlike agony. It jumps under one’s ribs and tickles down one’s back and makes one forget meals and keeps one (delightfully) sleepless o’ nights”.

    Lewis is trying to say that joy is a deep pleasant feeling that suffuses every part of your life, coming upon you with a glowing feeling that things are going well.

    Joy surrounds you in the sukkah in a combination of aroma, food, company, song and gratitude for one’s blessings. Judaism also believes in welcoming the joy-giving presence of God.

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