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Rabbi Arthur Segal’s love of people, humanity, and Judaism has him sharing with others “The Wisdom of the Ages” that has been passed on to him. His writings for modern Jews offer Spiritual, Ethical, and eco-Judaic lessons in plain English and with relevance to contemporary lifestyles. He is the author of countless articles, editorials, letters, and blog posts, and he has recently published two books:

The Handbook to Jewish Spiritual Renewal: A Path of Transformation for the Modern Jew

and

A Spiritual and Ethical Compendium to the Torah and Talmud

You can learn more about these books at:

www.JewishSpiritualRenewal.org
ALL ENTRIES ARE (C) AND PUBLISHED BY RABBI ARTHUR SEGAL JEWISH SPIRITUAL RENEWAL, INC, AND NOT BY ANY INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEE OF SAID CORPORATION. THIS APPLIES TO 3 OTHER BLOGS (CHUMASH, ECO, SPIRITUALITY) AND WEB SITES PUBLISHED BY SAID CORPORATION.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

RABBI ARTHUR SEGAL: SURVIVING POST-MATTHEW: LESSONS FROM SUKKOT JEWISH HOLIDAY

RABBI ARTHUR SEGAL: SURVIVING POST-MATTHEW: LESSONS FROM SUKKOT JEWISH HOLIDAY
 

NOVEMBER 2016 BLUFFTON SUN/ HILTON HEAD SUN/ RABBI DR ARTHUR SEGAL

GOD'S INFLUENCE IN OUR LIVES IS NEVER ENDING

Shalom and greetings:

In our tour through the Jewish calendar this year, November has no holiday, but as promised, I will discuss Sukkot, which came at the end of October {10/16-24} and Simchat Torah [10/25].

Sukkot is Hebrew for ''booths''. We are asked by God to live in them for a week.  During the fall harvest festival, Hebrews had to live in booths by the fields they were harvesting. It reminds us of the 40 years in the wilderness 'camping' and wandering.  While walls can vary in size and material, the Talmud teaches all roofs are made of the same materials, (e.g. palm fronds), for everyone, rich or poor, so that we can see the stars at night through them.  We are spiritually taught that if we believe we have control, or have "made it," by living in 'secure' homes in gated communities, we are delusional. Sukkot teaches that we are in God's hands and are part of His nature and His universe.  It is spiritual reminder that we can live without material excess as God provides us with what we need. Rich or poor, we can live in a hut for a week and enjoy it!

During Sukkot we spiritually invite 8 guests [Ushpizin], one each night. Each represents a different good character trait. We grow spiritually by studying these traits. We invite human guests as well.

Simchat Torah {Celebrate Torah} is the holiday following Sukkot.  We read the last portion of Deuteronomy and immediately begin Genesis. Spiritually we learn we are never finished studying Torah, and that God's influence in our lives is never- ending.

Children are given their first lessons on this day. A bit of honey is placed on the texts for them to bring to their mouths. This is symbolically teaching them that the words of Torah and study will bring sweetness into their lives. "Mortal, feed your stomach and fill your belly with this scroll…and I ate it and it tasted as sweet as honey to me." (Ezekiel 3:3). This can also be done at Shavuot. However, with  secular and religious school years, coinciding with Simchat Torah in autumn, and because both holidays are about Torah, this custom is commonly done for both holidays.

Rabbi Arthur Segal is an international lecturer, author, and teacher. Visit him at www.JewishSpiritualRenewal.org   . Email at RabbiASegal@aol.com   . 

RABBI DR ARTHUR SEGAL
 www.JewishSpiritualRenewal.com/books www.FaceBook.com/Arthur.L.Segal www.FaceBook.com/RabbiArthurSegalJewishSpiritualRenewal www.RabbiArthurSegal.blogspot.com
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