Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Succot ושמחת בחגך Why the Joy?

One of Judaism's interesting questions is:
Why is the Succot Holiday called the "Joyful" one? ושמחת בחגך
The other day, while walking outside in Shiloh and wondering when Gd will bless us with cleansing and health-producing, also necessary for agriculture rain, I noticed the grapes.  OK, I didn't need to go very far to see grapes, since we have a few vines by our house.

The grapes are rather dusty, and some are dried out, eaten by birds, bees etc. And the leaves are awfully brown and ripped. But there are still grapes for humans to feast on.

I began to think of how it must have been in olden times, a few thousand years ago, when food storage meant drying and pickling food. Instead of refrigerators, freezers and modern containers, they used caves and ceramic urns. 

In this late summer season, people couldn't rely on piped water from high tech reservoirs, desalination, drip agriculture etc. It hasn't rained for six months. We frequently complain of the high prices of fruit and vegetables, because the summer crops are finished and the winter ones can't grow without water. The products of modern high tech agriculture isn't cheap.

How did our ancestors manage? During the almost four hundred years of the Mishkan, Tabernacle in Shiloh, there may have been grapes growing right where my grapes grow today. Considering how easily grapes grow here without any professional care, it's obvious to me that this is the Land Gd created for grape growing.

Finding and preparing sufficient food for the many late summer, Tishrei holidays is challenging enough in today's modern world. It's hard to imagine how much more difficult it was thousands of years ago. And then think of the joy when the food was served. Or many the mitzvah, the commandment to be joyful helped them enjoy what they could find to eat.

In Ancient Times, I doubt that the sukkot one lived in during the holiday was built onto people's homes or terraces. They left the comfort of their home to go up to Shiloh and later to Jerusalem for mass prayers. Conditions weren't like today's hotels, three enormous meals and unlimited afternoon cake. Vineyards like mine were treasured and shared, since there wasn't much to eat.

People were grateful and joyful for what they had ושמחת בחגך Visamachta bichaggecha, And be joyful in Your holiday.


Mr. Cohen said...

May G*D grant a truly joyous Sukkot to Batya Medad
and all her family and friends and to all Jews who
are loyal to the Jewish faith and the Jewish land.

Concerning the Jews who are not loyal to
the Jewish faith and the Jewish land,
may G*D help them to understand the truth.

Time Magazine vs Truth:

Who are the Palestinians?

How Torah Can Defeat Terrorism:

Did Captain Kirk believe in negotiating with terrorists?

How to Pray for Tzahal-IDF:

Rambam Rejected Childless Messiah:

Was Daniel an Orthodox Jew?

Mr. Cohen said...

Batya said...

thank you, Gd willing