The days after Yom Kippur are both easy and hard. We are spiritually uplifted and spiritually exhausted. We’re fueled to jump into the new year with renewed energy and vigor. And there is an equally sizable force drawing us to relax and lean back towards complacency.
This is why we build a sukkah: To bolster our petitions with plywood and nails. To strengthen our promises with poles and hammers. To remind ourselves to get outside. Outside of our well intentioned thoughts, pairing prayer with action.
Rashbam, Rashi’s grandson, teaches that living in sukkot provides ample reason to be grateful to God. Stepping outside of ourselves, we are confronted by the hard work and effort it takes to achieve our dreams, transforming lofty goals into practical achievements. And with the construction of the sukkah just mere hours after Yom Kippur, we give thanks to God for both the ability to dream and capacity to build.
The strongest prayers are those that find a way outside of our hearts, living, breathing and growing. First we pray…and now we build.
In partnership with The Jewish Journal, you can also find Rabbi Guzik’s blog post HERE.