Sukkot Reflections

I love autum. A time in between. A time when the inner-city is reclaimed by those who live in it instead of the tourists. The drizzling rain washes the streets preparing the city for a fresh start into the new year. The leaves turn yellow and red reminding the local one last time of the colours of summer. Sometimes a golden sunray that found its way through a thick layer of clouds. It is the time when I feel most at home in Berlin.

I love Sukkot as well. The great outdoors taking us out of our comfort zone (especially those of us who live in areas with a rough climate)! After all the soul searching of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur Sukkot asks of us to go out in the world and engage our body: Building a sukka, gathering the harvest, waving the lulav. I think it's the best holiday to reconnect with nature. However, Sukkot is the time when I feel most out of place in the Jewish community. This grand and awfully perfect huts standing in gray backyards filled with plastic chairs and people notoriously complaining about the cold… Whatever I figured during the past few weeks on how much I care about the community and how much I want to be involved: It all fades on Sukkot.

Occasionally I am concerned that I don't provide a home that is Jewish enough to my son but then September comes and I sit somewhere in a sukka where apart from some store bought greenery on the roof the only account for nature being alive is some grass growing shamefully between the bricks on the ground. What a sad harvest festival! I realise that I do provide my son with Jewish values and knowledge the best that I can. And well, in the case of Sukkot I am certain that I do better than this. I decided that I should stop labeling myself as a bad Jew for not going to shul when that is just not me. I do what I can, just like everyone else.

In that sense I wish you all a great year. Hope to see you outdoors!

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