Photo Credit: Jodie Maoz

The feeling in the air during the month of Tishrei is quit exhilarating. From one special holiday to the next, we find ourselves preparing round the clock.

We have a lot of physical preparing to do. What kind of preparing mentally and spiritually can we do in order to be properly equipped to enter the long journey ahead of us, which is called the New Year.

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Hashem in His merciful approach to His children at all times, is always looking for ways to see the good in us. Whether we deserve it or not, G-d looks for the effort we make to be good, rather than to see the things we do wrong. True, there is always a running tab on all of our actions, however the emphasis is usually on the good we do.

It’s written that during the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we should try to take upon ourselves some good action that we would like to change within ourselves, even if we don’t necessarily intend to stick to this change the entire year. Are we tricking the Almighty into thinking that we are something which we are not?

Not at all, we are simply showing Hashem how much we love Him and how much we really want to change despite the fact that we realize that we probably won’t be consistent in our change.

G-d know His children and realizes this fact and accepts our attempt to change, with open arms, as if we have already changed.

Right after the holiest of days, Yom Kippur, we all prepare for Sukkot. Nowadays, many people have ready made sukkot built into their porches or back yards, and there isn’t so much hammering and building to do. And still every small effort is considered as if it were the same as working very hard to build a sukkah.

It’s also written about Sukkot, that the sukkah itself is like a hug from Hashem. We are covered with His hug the way the sukkah is shaped. Like a body and two arms. The three walls of the sukkah, resembles a hug. And why a hug?

When we hug someone, we don’t see their blemishes. We only feel the warmth of their heart. When we hug someone we don’t see their faces, we are looking beyond their physical bodies onwards. When we look into the horizon we can see whatever it is we wish to see. It’s not written yet. When you hug all you feel is the heart. The most inner part of our being. A place which gives life, gives hope, and sees the good in all of us.

After we leave the synagogue and all the extensive prayers of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we feel so elevated, even if we really haven’t changed much. And our sincere efforts to change were maximized during our time spent in the shul while we were praying.

Once again Hashem sees things in a different light. G-d chooses to concentrate on the good we did or try to do. This is why Hashem gives us such a big hug right after all the praying we did.

Sukkot is the spiritual and mental preparation that we do in order that we may take strength and support for the entire year. The unconditional love that Hashem shows us with this huge hug for a week long, sets us on the road of the New Year with so much love, that we feel that we can conquer any challenge or path we choose to take, with success.

As we enter our sukkah remember to feel the hug, so that we too will be able to give over that hug to the ones we love or even to others. We are all connected, and we are all the children of Hashem. Let us emulate His merciful and loving actions to us, as a learning experience so that we may become closer to Hashem and be more like our Father.

Let us see the good in others, despite the fact that we are all made up of many sides. Give a hug, feel the love and see the beautiful horizon. Chag Sameach.

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Michal can be reached at michal@jewishpress.com
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