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Shabbat Hol Hamoed Sukkot 5778

This upcoming Shabbat is a special Shabbat. It occurs during the Festival of Sukkot and is called 'Shabbat Hol Hamoed' - the Shabbat during the week of a Festival.

Wednesday evening October 4th ushers in the Festival of Sukkot - booths or huts - to remember the forty years that the Israelites wandered in the wilderness and dwelled in these Sukkot, under G-d's protection.

This Festival is known as 'Zman Simhatenu' - the season of Rejoicing. Rejoicing for the Fall harvest and also for having gone through Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We are confident that G-d has forgiven us and we look forward to a happy and joyous 5778.

There are several Mitzvot connected with this festival. There is a Mitzvah to eat in the Sukkah - some even sleep in the Sukkah - and we use the Lulav and Etrog with the myrtle and willow branches to thank G-d for this beautiful universe and bountiful harvest.

Some compare our life on earth to the Sukkah - temporary and frail. It's preferable to have a Sukkah that has four walls, but three - or even two and a half - are sufficient for the Sukkah to be Kosher. The same is true of our lives. Illness and other troubles cause us to feel incomplete. No matter how we feel, we are commanded to celebrate the Festival and be grateful for whatever we have, and for whatever comes our way.

I wish you Shabbat Shalom and Hag Sameah - a Happy and Joyous Festival of Sukkot.