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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 2, 2007 / 20 Tishrei 5768,

Thinking outside the succah

By Rabbi Hillel Goldberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | What happens to a person emotionally on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur? No doubt, the answer is as varied as the number of Jews who observe the holidays.

The ideal is spiritual catharsis.

A new day.

An inspiration for the coming year.

A commitment to do more of the right things, fewer of the wrong things.

The consequence of all that is joy.

So runs the expected emotional-spiritual course of the holidays.

In a word, they prepare us for the succah, a symbol, and more than a symbol, of G-d's presence.

In antiquity, the harvest came in, security was felt viscerally, and the holiday of Succos was a time to rejoice.

This is not antiquity.

The ideal does not happen for many people.

The holidays can be the most painful time of year.

For singles, widows, widowers and various others, the Jewish holidays can be a time when everyone else's togetherness is more blatant, and one's own loneliness more sharp.

What, then, is such a person supposed to do with this supposed climax, this holiday of joy, of Succos?

Think outside the succah, so to speak.

The succah is a shelter.

Not a house.

Still less a mansion.

But a fragile, usually small shelter.

It can be cold in the succah . . . for everybody.

And yet, this little shelter — not the house, not the mansion — conveys the Divine presence in a way that no solid building ever can.

For many in our midst, the holidays do not heal, they expose. They make clear, if only to the person himself, or herself, vulnerabilities.

The holidays can hurt.

A succah never hurts.

It's odd. The point of the succah is often missed. Rosh Hashanah? Yes. Shofar? Of course? Yom Kippur? Wouldn't think of missing it. But Succos . . . what's that? That's not important like the "High" Holidays, right?

Well, not if one values serenity.

A succah heals.

A succah puts everyone in the same position, since, by definition, a succah cannot have a strong roof overheard. Otherwise, it wouldn't be a succah. Its roof must be branches. A succah is the very epitome of vulnerability.

In our vulnerabilities, we find G-d.

In a succah, loneliness is not the same. It shrinks, or disappears. In a succah, G-d is present in a non-dramatic way. No shofar. No fasting. No dramatic sermons. No long prayers. In a succah, one's whole body is enveloped. There are no demands on a person, but . . . just to be.

In the nature of the American Jewish community, many more people observe the High Holidays than observe Succos. This means that many people never avail themselves of the succah and its mellow, peaceful, enveloping shade.

Whether the holidays were a catharsis or a time of painful exposure of one's loneliness, the holiday of Succos is the time to think outside the succah, so to speak, by physically entering the succah.

A succah is a gift.

There's no law that heightens its effect by virtue of owning it. Whether it's one own succah, or a succah in a synagogue, a restaurant or at a friend's house, a succah is a succah. Its nature and efficacy are the same. If one cannot build one's own succah for whatever reason — one's health does not allow, or it's too expensive, or not feasible in an apartment complex — one may visit another succah.

It's the same succah.

The same shelter.

The same conclusion to the High Holiday season.

The same feeling.

The same vehicle of the Divine presence.

The same healing.

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JWR contributor Rabbi Hillel Goldberg is Executive Editor of the Intermountain Jewish News.


© 2007, Rabbi Hillel Goldberg