What an amazing Sukkot. There have been so many beautiful gatherings of people, sharing song and food, stories and politics. We have truly lived into the call of hospitality, inviting guests, heroes, ancestors and spirits. And there is more fun to be had this weekend. Singing, food, meditation and board games. Followed by a farm festival on Sunday. I am so grateful to everyone who has stacked chairs, brought food and invited friends. It has been so personally joyful.
I want to also send a special invitation to our Simchat Torah For Everyone Celebration on Sunday at 5:15 pm. There will be pizza to start, and then ritual, singing and dancing from 6 pm onwards.
Sunday is the time in our spiritual calendars when we turn our attention to praying for rain. We call forth our physical salvation, desperate to avoid draught. For those of us who do not live in climates with a rainy season, this can be abstract. The rabbis taught that a day of rain is greater than the revelation of Torah. That is because water is Torah. It is sustenance!
This year I have also been thinking about the Water Protectors at the Standing Rock Reservation who are fighting to protect our rivers from the Dakota Access Pipeline. They have reminded me that water is life. Here is an amazing article written by West Philly rabbinical student Miriam Grossman about the struggle and our call to be in solidarity. As a Future Rabbi, I’m Standing With Native People Against the Dakota Pipeline.
Join us for a truly celebratory time to sing and dance with the Torah. We will pray for rain, which is Torah, which is life. And we will send our prayers to Standing Rock as they too pray for the protection of water and the sanctity of all life.
Shabbat Shalom and Moadim L'Simcha - Towards a continued joyful Sukkot festival!
Rabbi Ari Lev