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Keep the family close!

Friday, 28 September, 2018 - 7:59 am

Having just wrapped up an incredible Montana Yom Kippur, I am convinced that we are one people with one heart. Recently, I experienced this oneness twice: last week I spent a few hours being interviewed for "The Rabbi Goes West” alongside my friend Rabbi Allen Secher. Allen is Reformed/Renewal and I’m Hassidic, but we had such a good time together, because family is family. On a more bitter note, this past Sunday I was a basket case, as I watched a live feed of Ari Fuld’s funeral in Efrat, Israel. Ari was murdered by an Arab terrorist, just for having the audacity of being Jewish and it broke my heart, deeply. I never met Ari but felt like I was mourning the loss of a dear family member.


This is the essence of Sukkot.

Sukkah is a unique Mitzvah that allows innumerable Jews to experience the commandment simultaneously. We are all enwrapped in the same four walls, sitting under the same Schach ceiling and that is the observance. Yes, many Jews can do individual Mitzvot while under the same roof, but they are each doing their own Mitzvah, not an equal one. Personally, Sukkot is my favorite holiday. There is something about the feeling in the Sukkah that is so crisp, so wholesome and so invigorating. Each year we host Jews of all flavors in our Sukkah and the feeling is indescribable. Despite the frosty temperatures, we are warmed as we enjoy Chavie’s mouthwatering delicacies, a bottle or two of L’Chaim and a spirited dose of Torah.

This Sukkot please take a moment to cherish your Jewish family. We’ve got our problems, all families do, but we are one. We can all commit that for the seven days of the holiday, we will put aside our politics, social status and religious background and focus on the essence, the G-dly spark embedded in our Jewish brothers and sisters. You have a Jewish neighbor who loves President Trump and you’re a hardcore fan of Senator Bernie Sanders? invite them over for a meal in the Sukkah. You have a Synagogue acquaintance who loved Bibi and you’d like to give Tel Aviv back to the British? say L’Chaim with them in the Sukkah. Remember, when all is said and done, keeping the family together is something that makes our Father in Heaven most happy!

Keep the family close!

May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Moshiach speedily. May He protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!


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