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Sukkot: The Womb of Our Rebirth

September 29, 2015

by: Yishai Fleisher

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Sukkah Tuesday, 29 September 2015 | For the Yom Kippur afternoon Mincha prayer and the closing Neila prayer this year I walked over to the Western Wall. At first it was very hot outside, and few people were there. But by the time Neila started, the Kotel was packed and all the variations of Jewish prayer, with ancient tones and melodies, could be heard. Finally the sun went down and the shofars blared, we proclaimed God’s Oneness and we all cried together: “Next Year in a Rebuilt Jerusalem.”

During the Neila prayer, there is a segment called Vidui, or confession. In it, we confess our various sins like roaming eyes, dishonesty in business dealings, disrespect of parents, and of course, desecration of God’s name.

However, it suddenly dawned on me that there are some sins that are not mentioned in the confession—national sins—and I started ad-libbing a list of confessions: We have sinned by allowing our brothers and sisters to be murdered this year, like the four rabbis in the horrific Har Nof attack, the car attack which killed Shalom Yochai Sherky, and so many others. We have not done enough to bring those terrorists to justice and strike fear in the hearts of their ilk. We have sinned because we did not ensure the rights of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount. We have sinned by allowing the Land of Israel to be underdeveloped, underfunded, and even polluted. We have sinned by taking for granted the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel.

I cried when I thought of the great mass murder of our people in the Holocaust, the great rebirth of the Jewish commonwealth—and the fact that so many of us still do not understand the time that we are living in.

But now Yom Kippur is over, and it is time for the most joyous days on the Jewish calendar: Sukkot. Now, we are cleansed from our sins and we sit in our temporary huts and we feel the incredible embrace of Heaven. Indeed the Sukkah, like the Land of Israel, is the womb of our rebirth—and when we come out the other end of Sukkot we will be ready to take on the awesome challenge of building a Jewish state and taking seriously the gifts and challenges of our time.

Shana Tova and Chag Sameach

Posted on September 29, 2015

Source: (Y-F Broadcasting Israel originally published this article in September 2015. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Gilabrand/

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