We Jews have been scrambling a bit. Yom Kippur just ended and last night was the start of Sukkot. We only had a few days to build the Sukkah. In addition to being busy, it is a fascinating time of year. The High Holidays are an intense period of introspection. As we commit to making this New Year a meaningful one, learning from the lessons both good and bad of the past year, we keep in mind the fragility of life. Like Yom Kippur, Sukkot continues to remind us that life is precious, it is a gift and we do our best when we live each day to its fullest. One way we do that is to sit in our Sukkah, that meager shelter with the partly open roof and only three sides.
We dwell there and invite others to join us. But this invitation is more than Jewish hospitality for we invite not only friends and family but also the spirits of those who came before us, those who embodied the highest Jewish Values. These people include our Forebears, patriarchs and matriarchs of Judaism and perhaps of our own families. Abraham and my Zeyde, Sarah and my Bubbe, and the list goes on. Each soul is an exemplar of a particular virtue such as compassion, wisdom, and courage.
These welcome guests represent the best of us. When we remember them and invite them to dwell in our Sukkah with us they come alive as a presence. We embrace them and realize indeed Zichronam Livrachah, their memories are truly both a blessing and an inspiration for us.
They enlighten us, inspire us, they connect us to the enduring nature of our people and the values that make being Jewish something so very special. May we embrace more than their presence, but may we embody the best of who they were so that we may become more than we are.