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My Grandfather Suka song

Wednesday, 29 September, 2010 - 6:27 pm

Dear Friends,

I wrote these lines last night, while sitting in the Sukkah.

Last Sunday morning we were not sure if we would be able to build our community Sukkah at the lake of Lucerne. The weather was not amazing and we were worried if the sukkah would stand strong even in case of rain and wind. We were also worried if people would even come out to celebrate in such a weather condition. So we were debating back and forth, and after talking to friends, we decided to go for it. Thank  G-d, even though the weather was not the most sympathetic, many families and singles came out to celebrate in the joy of the holiday.

Even now, sitting in my familky Sukkah, I'm a bit chilly. It is a bit windy and the roof is not very steady. The walls of the sukkah are even shaking with the wind. Despite all that I am dressed warmly and feel great. I didn't leave the Sukkah after dinner tonight because it is almost the last evening that we eat in the Sukkah this year. And even though the climate is not amazing, I love the atmoshphere in here.

I'm not a masochist, so why should I enjoy sitting in a place where it is cold and windy?

The reason is, that it brings back wonderful memories.It reminds me of the Yiddish song we used to sing every year in my childhood Sukkah in Israel. The song describes the cold wind in the sukkah and the poor S'chach (roof). Every time, my grandfather would shed a tear during this song.

Once when I asked him: "Zeide, Why are you crying?" He answered: "Chaim, this is the story of Am Yisrael, of the Jewish nation... many times it is very cold for us, the Jewish nation, at the time when it is warm for others. There are also soft winds, and sometimes even strong ones. Many times our situation is not stable at all. At times we feel good and comfortable spiritually, but we have physical problems, and at times it is the opposite. What is most important though is, that despite it all, the Jewish Nation like the Sukkah, always made it through, and we will survive forever."

These words of my grandfather ring in my ears and go into my heart each year anew.

When I think about our community Sukka last Sunday at the lake, in a way, exactly what I didn't want to happen - the rain, the cold and the cloudy sky - made the event a bit more meaningful.

Soon I will part from the sukkah, and once again will miss it until next year.

Rivky and the children join me in wishing you Gut Yom Tov, Chag Simchat Torah sameach,





Rabbi Chaim


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