Sukkot; Striking a Balance in Life… Gilad is coming home!!! Sukkot is without any doubt my favorite Holy Day.

Why? Well, I get a very special kind of joy by dwelling in the Sukkah. For me it has never been about fragility. It has always been about balance. Have you ever wondered why we don’t celebrate Passover in The Sukkah. That’s right… doesn’t it seem like a good idea to hold our Sedarim inside The Sukkah? After all, that is the structure we dwelt in for forty years as we journeyed through the wilderness… and the wilderness experience was a direct result from The Exodus! If you think about it, Pesah is about who we were and what we became but Sukkot is entirely about the future, about who we will become once we enter our land. Sukkot more than any other Holy Day rings with it the eternal optimism of The Jewish People and it coexists in our calendar with Passover which consists of remembering the experience of slavery. Only by bringing together past and future can we understand who we are today. So many symbols in this beautiful Holy Day, and I just see more opportunities to talk about balance. The lulav (palm branch) is like our spine and The Etrog (citron) is like our heart... When we bring these two species of plants together we are reminded of the balance that we ourselves must strike in life. We need to stand on principle and be upright and stand strong for what is right and what we believe in, however, we can't do that without a heart. Life is not all about standing strong, strength means nothing if we don't allow ourselves to feel. Real strength comes from the balance that our heart strikes with our principles! During this Sukkot 5722 we eagerly await the return of Gilad Shalit to Israel, we are taken by joy and at the same time we also must think about how difficult the decision must have been to make. Exchanging 1027 terrorists to return one of our children… This is precisely the balance that I speak about when I think about The Lulav and The Etrog coming together in our hands. Hag Sukkot Sameach...

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