The Universal Message of Sukkot: By Moshe Feiglin
“And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations that came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of Tabernacles.” (Zecharia 1`4 – From the Haftarah on the first day of Sukkot)
The holiday of Sukkot is universal. It is the holiday of the seventy nations of the world who come each year to bring their offerings to the Temple in Jerusalem. The final, eighth day of the holiday is dedicated to the offerings brought to the Temple by the Nation of Israel. It is an intimate ‘after-party’ made by G-d for the chosen nation.
Sukkot is the holiday in which the Nation of Israel dwells under the wings of the Divine Presence. A special holiness encompasses the sukkah. We do not put our trust in the power of mortals. We know that technology or international treaties will not save us. We are servants of G-d alone. In the sukkah, we are truly free. I wholeheartedly recommend turning off your cell phones and other screens when in the sukkah. Take a deep breath, free yourself of all the things to which you are enslaved, serve G-d alone, be free.
We are not there yet, however. The message of Jewish liberty, the perfection of the world under the Kingdom of Heaven – the personal, national and universal message – is challenged by strong forces that oppose it. On the national plane, the religion (and culture) of servitude and blind obedience that is conquering the world is at the forefront of those forces.
Before universal recognition of the message of liberty that emanates from Zion, the prophet Zechariah forsees a major battle. On the very deepest level, the struggle against the connection between the Nation of Israel and its city and message from Jerusalem is the battle between liberty and the enslavement of the entire human race.
Every Jewish home that is built in Jerusalem enrages the POTUS and even some forces in our midst. It is no coincidence that the Biblical elements in the US, who cling to the original American values of liberty, always wanted to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. This was even reflected by a decision passed by the Congress. Unfortunately, however, those elements met Israeli leadership that attempted to evade the message that Israel is supposed to herald. The American values became irrelevant when they did not meet the source of those values in Israel. Deep down, humanity is waiting for the message from Jerusalem. But Israel is not yet the sukkah of the world.
It is going to end with a serious batlle, the prophet tells us. Specifically on the holiday of Sukkot. In the end, we will be here – and the remnants of the nations – every one that is left of all the nations that came against Jerusalem. They will also internalize the message of liberty in the shadow of the Kingdom of the G-d Who dwells in Zion.
Illustration courtesy of The Temple Institute