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Two Minutes of Torah: Sukkot Special - Making the Temporary Permanent

On a certain level we Jews must be crazy.  The festival Sukkot requires us to build a temporary dwelling place with an incomplete roof, and then to go out there and live in it for seven days.  I'm guessing in some parts of the well this is not such a bad thing to have to do.  But growing up in England there always seemed to be that the week of Sukkot was accompanied by torrential downpours and heavy rain making inhabiting the sukkah almost impossible.  And yet each and every year we build our Sukkot and we go out and dwell in them. 

In the commandment of Sukkot we are told once a year to build this temporary dwelling place.  And I always think about the link between this sukkah and the one that we mention in the Hashkiveinu, the prayer of our evening liturgy. I'm it we read: ufros aleinu sukkat shlomecha - spread over us the shelter, the sukkah, of your peace.  We request that God shelters us with the sukkah and then at the very end of the prayer we say: Baruch Atah Adonai hapores sukkat shalom aleinu, al amo Yisrael ve'al kol haolam - Blessed are You God spreading the shelter of peace over us, over your people Israel and over all the world.  

In theory God builds a sukkah for us every single night, and once a year we create the sukkah in our homes.  

We might think that when it came to the structure of peace that God would be building something a bit more solid than the Sukkah.  And yet this is what we have, and in many ways it's a reminder of the temporary peace can be unless we continue to work at it.  We know that with our own sukkah if we don't maintain it, if we don't ensure that it is as secure as possible then ultimately it will fall.  And it's the same with peace. 

Peace requires us to take something that begins as a temporary measure and make it permanent, and we can only do that when we protect it, defend it, and when we ensure that we are ready to support it all along the way.  The sukkah, in many ways, is a wonderful analogy for the importance and the challenges of making peace.  

May we be partners with God this year in building a sukkat shalom, a shelter o peace; over us, Over Israel, and over all the world?

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