Sukkot is a magnificent holiday. It involves building, dwelling outdoors, recalls the harvest, a journey through the ages and a memory of the desert sky. Right after Yom Kippur, with its ethereal echoes, it returns us to the earth.
Sukkot is the Jewish enactment of low-hanging fruit. It is a reason to invite your friends and neighbors over, without the bother of having to clean your house (before or after!). And you have a place to put up all those cards and kids’ drawings. Genius.
The sukkah is a mitzvah you can do with your entire body. Even better, the mitzvah involves eating. Weather permitting, it is as though the tradition enabled us to visit a resort and called it a commandment.
When my brothers and I were little, we went “sukkah hopping,” which means that we walked from sukkah to sukkah in our neighborhood and ate brownies and cookies (and maybe a grape). Years later I saw the movie “The Swimmer,” based on the John Cheever story about a man who, in a leafy suburb, swims neighborhood pools from house to house. I recognized the theme, but we had it better; no exertion. It was Sukkot — we only had to smile, bless and eat. Chag Sameach.
Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. Follow his teachings at www.facebook.com/RabbiWolpe.