We can see the stars in the sky
Through the slats covering the roof of the sukkah.
And as metaphors go, that’s apt.
But it’s Sukkot and
Today we;re celebrating the mysterious vertical God:
The God of Heaven,
The God of the Harvest.
God, all the way from Down here to the mysterious far Up There,
Where the rain comes from.
And it would be presumptuous of us to claim clarity.
This all feels so very ancient, doesn’t it?
Maybe thousands of years ago they took a break from the harvest
And shared a nice meal in a temporary shack built for sleeping
So they wouldn’t waste time walking home.
Hey, they lived in a desert and they knew it wouldn’t rain
So they built it so they could see the stars before falling asleep.
Maybe they thanked their gods for their good harvest.
And when Big Daddy Torah God came on the scene
They folded it all into the calendar.
It would have been foolish of them to give up such a good thing.
On our temporary sukkah walls there are pictures of the ancestors
Invited in to share a meal and a chat.
Some of us invite in the patriarchs, some the matriarchs,
Some invite in the scholars, others hope for the artists
And of course there’s family and friends, and wine.
So let’s shake some of that pagan foliage
East West North South, Up and Down.
And have a sniff of a most expensive piece of fruit
And look up at those same stars.
It would arrogant of us to forego the joy or the ritual.
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