Write It! Dance It!

Friday, 14 October, 2022 - 4:04 pm

Write It! Dance It!

Often, when I am pondering something significant, I will tell myself, “That’s a great idea.  I should explore it further when I have some time.”

Usually, however, my subsequent attempts to research the subject are met with scant and subpar results (that is, if I even remember to follow up).  Sometimes, the only way I’m able to tap into the excitement and richness of the initial inspiration is if I act upon it immediately.  If I quickly start developing the idea, it will frequently bear fruit.

One way to make sure the idea does not disappear into the abyss is by discussing it with someone or committing it to writing ASAP.  If it gets stale, it will usually just collect dust – at best.

Which leads me to Sukkot. Sukkot? Yes. Allow me to explain.


On Sukkot we celebrate the protection provided by the Almighty to our people while we wandered for forty years in the wilderness. Although this followed our liberation from Egyptian bondage, we do not commemorate the Heavenly shelter at the time when we reflect on the Exodus, namely Pesach. Rather, we do so after the High holy Days.

Why now? Why does the Torah instruct us to observe Sukkot after the Days of Judgment? Would it not be more fitting to do so at Pesach? (Maybe it would also be easier to just get all the rituals done in one shot – a mega-holiday of Matzah and Maror in the Sukkah!).


True, the Sukkot message of Divine security could be just as applicable on any day of the year. Yet, G-d designed the holiday to follow Yom Kippur.

You see, on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur we get into a very holy groove. We’re thinking about being Jewish; we’re delving into our past, putting our lives under an internal microscope. Finally, we declare that we will do better this year.

But there is an inherent danger that all this introspective energy might dissipate. Yes, our intentions are sincere. But if we do not act on them right away, we risk it being for naught. 

Sukkot is the magical formula of capturing the energy of the High Holidays. By immediately immersing ourselves in a practical, multi-dimensional festival, we ensure that the spirit of Yom Kippur does not disappear. The hands-on action and joy of Sukkot is just what the doctor ordered after the reflective soul-searching of the Days of Awe.


I should get in the habit of writing things down more promptly.  Maybe, my neshama will also get in the habit of putting into action many of my goals.  This Sukkot, let’s do more. By eating in the sukkah, taking the four kinds and getting more into the action-oriented rituals of Judaism, we are indeed sealing ourselves in the book of life.

And, as we approach the final festival of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, let us internalize the message that the truest form of actualization and commitment is unbridled joy. Let us unabashedly and triumphantly celebrate the values we proclaimed on the High Holidays – by dancing and signing with the Holy Torah!

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