Monday, September 21, 2015

A Slice of Israel

We are about to begin Yom Kippur...a solemn day of judgment where all our future is decided. Sounds heavy right, frightening even. And yet, it is so much more. It's a wonderful, unique, amazing opportunity to stop and contemplate where you are, where you've been, and where you want to be.

In life, we can change anything...we really can...if you have the courage to try. You can move across the world, you can bring life into this world and brighten it day by day by sharing acts of kindness, of love.

You can drop a coin in the cup of a beggar; you can invite a friend in need to your table. It all begins on Yom Kippur...when the buses stop in Israel, the trains, the cars...even the radio and television. The stores are all closed; there's barely a car on the road...Israel stops in a way I doubt much of the world could possibly imagine.

And then from the heavy comes the light; from judgment comes celebration. Sukkot is a holiday of triumph in so many ways. It's about getting back to nature, removing all the nonsense we put into our lives. For 7 days (8 outside Israel), we "live" in temporary dwellings; some people sleep outside, most eat outside. In fact, we are commanded to eat anything of substance (bread, cake, noodles, etc.) inside the sukkah and so it sometimes presents a challenge. What if you aren't home...and you are hungry and want to grab a sandwich...or even eat a piece of cake?

The answer is that, at least in Israel, there are sukkahs built...well, all over the place. I saw this one today (it wasn't there yesterday). A sukkah put up by the light rail at a train stop.

There will be many others, but this was the first I saw...advertisements galore...greetings from the light rail to the people of Jerusalem, pictures, statistics of how many hundreds of thousands have already used the light rail.

I love the holiday of Sukkot!

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