Succot: A Time to Relax and Enjoy

Today is the 3rd day of Succot. It is late afternoon as I am sitting here in my succah writing to you. I have some hot water heating for tea to drink as I watch the squirrels running along the fence, hedges, and trees.

And I sit back and relax in my succah and contemplate.

This moment really sums up the holy week we call Succot.

Just as I am now relaxing and enjoying the results of my work in building my succah: putting up the walls, cutting the branches that make up the roof, and putting them on the succah, buying a lulav, adding furniture to make it more homey…

Succot is about relaxing and enjoying the results of the work each of us has done the whole prior year, including Rosh haShannah, and Yom Kippur!

Historically, Succot is the time of the final harvest and the rejoicing that is done after the completion of a successful harvest.

However, it is not just about the final harvest of fruits and vegetables. It is also about the harvesting of all the work we have done on ourselves.

And now it is time to sit back for a week, and enjoy the fruits of our labors.

It is time to rejoice in all the work I have put in to make myself a better person and to acknowledge that work and the wonderful person I am today (and when I say “I” here, I don’t mean just me, I mean it for each Jew to being doing this for themselves).

After all, our most sacred text, the Torah, tells us that to be in Succot, we must be in joy.

So find yourself a succah, take at least an hour for yourself, bring along a cup of coffee or tea, and sit and relax and enjoy YOU and the world around you and all you have done to make you who you are today and get to this moment in the succah.

And raise your cup and give yourself a toast – you’ve earned it!

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About the Author

Picture of Shmuel Shalom Cohen Shmuel Shalom Cohen spent 10 years studying Torah in Jerusalem. Six years ago, he started Conscious Torah to help Jews connect to their tradition in ways they didn’t think possible. Shmuel also started, and is the executive directory of Jewish Events Willamette-valley, a non-profit whose mission is to build Jewish community, pride, and learning. In his free time, Shmuel likes walks in nature, playing music, writing poetry, and time with good friends.

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