"After the ingathering from your threshing floor and your vat, you shall hold the Feast of Booths for seven days… You shall hold a festival… for the Lord your G-d will bless all your crops and all your undertakings, and you shall have nothing but joy.” (Deuteronomy, 16:13)
Sukkot is upon us, a time we are commended to both build a Sukkah as well as rejoice.
These two orders seem contradictory. On one hand, we have the imperative of celebration and rejoice. On the other, we are ordered to leave our comfortable homes and raise a Sukkah, which symbolizes fragility both in a physical sense as well as within ourselves.
We may ask ourselves why we are ordered to live in such discomfort and still remain content.
To me, Sukkot always symbolized the connection each of us has with the land of Israel. For the time of Sukkot marks the harvest here in the holy land.
The commend to live our home is like a metaphor for the Jewish condition not only during the forty years in the desert, after our people were liberated from the Egyptian rule, but for nearly 2,000 years spent in exile.
For centuries the Jewish people lived without knowing whether the place in which they lived would be a safe home or a temporary dwelling.
For centuries, we have lived in a state of permanent insecurity.
This sense of uncertainty has quietened down to a certain degree since the establishment of the State of Israel. But even today's Israel is a living embodiment of what it is to exist in a state of insecurity and still rejoice.
Through our work in WIZO, we provide a sense of security and joy to each child, youth and women who come through our gates.
In each of our WIZO institutions, in Day Care Centers, in our youth villages and schools, in our women's shelters and in our WIZO branches, we care, we educate and we provide a sense of security and fulfilment to those who need us.
In times of peace and in times of war, WIZO is always there to strengthen both the Jewish people in Israel and around the world.
Because whether in Israel or abroad, WIZO is our safe home.
May we continue to be a home and a family to those who need us for many more years to come.Happy Sukkot!
Prof. Rivka Lazovsky,
Chairperson, World WIZO