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    Housey-Housey

    There once was a game called Housey-Housey. Regardless of the way the game works, Sukkot is a “housey housey” occasion.

    It’s about the house we emerge from – and the house we enter.

    During the rest of the year we mostly reside in comfortable homes, secure from the rain and the elements.

    On Sukkot we have frail huts. If the weather is nice everything is fun. If not, the sukkah gets buffeted by the wind and rain and if necessary we have to escape and go back into the house.

    Together with all the many rules and regulations about the sukkah there is also a philosophical and ethical aspect.

    We are guilty of self-delusion if we think that everyone has a house with firm walls and a dry roof, that everyone has a life of comfort and ease. Most of the world’s population have poor homes or none at all. It’s because of them that we have the festival of Sukkot.

    The festival is called in Hebrew z’man simchatenu, “our time of joy”. Maybe the phrase is a euphemism because Sukkot makes us experience hardship and deprivation.

    After the yom-tov we can go back to our houses; but what about those who are without houses? Our task is to make sure that all human beings have the blessing of a home.

    It can’t be a time of joy for us if others are suffering.

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