Sukkot: A Time of Man and Earth

I am studying Ulpan, Hebrew Language, and I learned that the Hebrew word for Mankind, Adam, is similar to the Hebrew word for earth, Adamah.

On the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, we commemorate the Israelites wandering in the desert for forty years after they were liberated from Egyptian slavery, and how they encamped in temporary dwellings and how G-d protected them throughout their journey.

Sukkot is also the holiday of the gathering of the crops where we celebrate the summer harvest (season of heat) and the planting for the new year (season of rain).

In celebrating Sukkot, we can compare Adam and Adamah.  Just like a man is dependent on seeding his teachings and good deeds which then leads to reaping his personal life harvest, so too the earth is dependent on seeding and watering which leads to harvesting its produce.  Further, like a man remembers his mistakes in life through the impact on his offspring and the work of his hands, so too the earth remembers the mistakes of not taking good care of it with impact to its yield and sustainability.

A man breathes life and the earth breathes life representing our investment in tilling, seeding, growing, and fruitfulness.  Adam and Adamah, both alive and both being worked through deeds and seeds to produce a good harvest in life and in its season.

We pray for a good year, a year of rain, a year of blessings, a year of doing things right, and having the right things come from it.

This blog post was inspired by a short movie of a farmer in Bishvil-Haivrit

About the Author
Andy Blumenthal is business and technology leader who writes frequently about Jewish life, culture, and security. All opinions are his own.
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