Sukkot Reflections by Rabbi Heidi Cohen

Sukkot is truly z’man simchateinu, a time for great joy! Just as we conclude our Yom Kippur fast, we are commanded to build at least one wall of the sukkah that very evening. Truly a task hard to think about after fasting all day and leading or attending services. And some years, it just has to wait till the next day. But there is something exciting about taking the lattice off the side fence, hanging it, decorating the sukkah and then finally enjoying the fruits of our labor (pun intended) by sitting, eating and visiting in our sukkah.

This year’s Sukkot began with a wonderful new tradition at Temple Beth Sholom, Sukkah Palooza! Volunteers and staff from all areas of TBS life came together to plan, build and create an exciting afternoon of Sukkot celebrations! New carnival games took to the grassy field, animals from Fliegler’s farm visited, Sisterhood baked delicious pies, Brotherhood provided the bounce house and very fun Velcro wall, wine was there for the tasting, congregational artists shared their talents and teens rocked the lawn. Our TBS Sukkah has never looked better with all the hand-crafted decorations created by our children and of course, we ate! But most important of all, TBS came together to celebrate Sukkot, truly, z’man simchateinu!

Along with being commanded to build booths and dwell in them for seven days, we are reminded to invite guests into our sukkot, and that is what we did as a community. Thanks to our Sukkah Palooza team, guests from the Orange County Jewish community heard about our event and came to visit. Everyone welcomed one another and even in the 90 degree heat, we celebrated welcoming guests into our TBS home, into our Sukkah.

Thank you to all our Sukkah Palooza volunteers, coordinators and sponsors!

Linda Bergman; Mark & Sylvia Borovay; Barry & Cheryl Escoe; Sharon & Danny Evans; The Fliegler Family; Lori Griffin; John Bornstein & Georgina Hewison; Alan Karlin; Lynne Kontur; Jasmine Lindauer; Gail Lipson; Andrea Lui; Joyce & Louie Mogabgab; Fern Michaelson; Hollis O’Brien; Soni Sanberg; Stacey Silberman; Denise Stephens; Jen & Sandy Sternshein; Andrea Wasserman; Bonnie Wenneberg; Marla Vaughter; Brotherhood; Sisterhood; Cindi Dubrow; Pam Ranta & Joe Greenblatt

Welcoming, celebrating together and supporting one another at all times is truly what it means to be a community. Sukkot is a perfect holiday as we begin our new year and remember how important it is to connect with family, friends and community.

May this Sukkot be for everyone a z’man simchateinu, a time of great joy – not only for this week, but for the whole year.

Chag Sameach!

Rabbi Heidi M. Cohen

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