Erev Shabbat Message from Rabbi Feldman

Dear Friends,                                                                                                                         
I know you may think I am a little bit crazy but I want to raise an issue with you related to the Fall Holidays. Someone once asked me when do I begin to prepare for the High Holidays and my answer was soon after Shavuot. With that in mind you will understand why I am sending this message now.
I want you to begin to think about the holiday of Sukkot and consider if this is the year you are going to purchase a new Sukkah for your family. Sukkot is an incredible holiday that often gets lost since it falls right after Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur - which is why I am raising the topic with you today. In addition to the wonderful services and programs we have at TJC, the best part of the holiday is to have our meals in the Sukkah. Symbolizing the portable structures that our ancestors used during the years in the wilderness, we are instructed to build a Sukkah for our family and to invite friends to join us for our meals. The Sukkah symbolizes the fragility of life and provides a unique setting for a meal, a conversation or perhaps a family activity in the early days of autumn.
I have many memories of our family Sukkah from when I was a young child. My sisters and I would help our parents build and decorate the Sukkah and we invited people to share the holiday meals with us. Our Sukkah was a gift from our Rabbi when he moved to Israel and our family built that Sukkah for close to 25 years. I remember the paper chains I made and many other special decorations including some candy decorations that did not last too long. The Sukkah provided us a place to gather for meals and conversation that were always a highlight of our family holiday observance. Since our children were born, Sara and I build a Sukkah every year and it has been a special treat to watch our children grow over the years - from the early decorations to the more advanced role they play today, helping to build the Sukkah and helping to prepare the meals and serve our guests that we have every year. As our lives get more and more hectic, as we and our children get more involved in various activities, it is nice to know we will always have that special time in our Sukkah. Our family recently purchased a larger Sukkah so that we can fit more guests and expand our decorations including some that are hand made and some we purchased in Israel.
I know that some TJC families have a Sukkah and I want to encourage more families to purchase one for this year. Since I am not moving to Israel this year, I cannot give you ours but I can tell you where to buy one for yourself - through the Sukkah Project at This is where we purchased the TJC Sukkot and many families in our community purchased one for themselves. You will see on this website that there are two types of Sukkot including a tubular Sukkah and wood frame Sukkah. The man who runs this company is named Steve Herman and he will give you all of the information you need to get some things from him and instructions to get everything else on your own. It is less expensive to purchase the wood needed for the Sukkah locally and Steve will explain exactly what you need to do.
In order to do this right, it takes time, which is why I am writing to you now. Take the time over the next few weeks to do some research online and decide the best plan moving forward. Please let me know if I can help you in any way. As a special offer, and since you stayed with me until the end of this message, a family in our congregation who is moving out of our area has donated their Sukkah to TJC and I will be happy to give it to a family who is interested and committed to this important mitzvah. Please contact me if I can answer any questions about a Sukkah or if you are interested in accepting the donated Sukkah. Just think - Sukkot begins in less than 16 weeks. It is time to prepare.
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Adam Feldman
Posted: 6/16/2017 1:47:33 PM by | with 0 comments


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