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    Rejoicing on Sukkot – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Why is Sukkot called “the season of our rejoicing”?

    A. It comes from a verse which commands us to be ach same’ach, “indeed joyful” (Deut. 16:15). This is also the origin of the greeting, Chag Same’ach – “A joyful festival!”

    The question may well be asked, how can anyone, even God, order you to be joyful if you don’t feel like it?

    Perhaps the answer is that when you enter the sukkah, the whole atmosphere brings a smile to your face and you feel happy despite yourself.

    The pace and pressure of the modern world works against joyfulness.

    A Red Indian is said to have remarked to Carl Jung, the analyst: “We don’t understand the whites; they are always wanting something – always restless – always looking for something. What is it? We don’t know. We can’t understand them. They have such sharp noses, such thin cruel lips, such lines in their faces. We think they are all crazy”.

    I don’t know what response Jung gave, but I do know that when people enter a sukkah their features relax and it becomes a season of simchah.

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