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לימוד תורה

The Sukkah - as an ideal model for unity among the people of Israel

Sukkot 5780- Rabbi Eliezer Shenvald

Is there a connection between Chag Sukkot and the ideal model for bridging the gaps between the various streams in Israeli society, between religious and secular, between right and left and between immigrants and veterans, etc.?

The Gemara in Masechet Sukkah (27b) contains the following discussion concerning the requirement to sit in a Sukkah “And the Rabbis say: Although they said that a person does not fulfill his obligation on the first day of the Festival with the lulav of another, he fulfills his obligation with the Sukkah of another, as it is written: ‘All the homeborn in Israel shall reside in Sukkot’ (Vayikra 23:42). This teaches that all of Israel are fit to reside in one Sukkah. In other words, the sukkah has the potential of unifying all streams of people of Am Israel, and how?

Some advocate a pluralistic approach - a belief in tolerance and liberality. According to which, everyone has his own truth and everyone is right, because there is no "objective truth", and in any case no one can claim that the truth is only his. In principle, this approach should not create tension between the different streams because everyone has legitimacy to adhere to his or her own truth, provided he does not hurt others!

Does this approach stand the test of reality, has it managed to diminish the gaps - after all, the controversial questions between the sectors are questions of life and death and each approach sees its rival- as the root of evil and the source of all our disasters?!

Many years ago, someone made a coin "Long live the unifying blur!" And he meant that in blurring the differences between the streams, we can create a sense of unity?! Was he right? Is it possible to ignore the polar approaches of different sectors to the most fundamental questions?!

On the other hand, there were those who supported the creation of a broad common denominator and a "status quo" by mutual concessions. Each stream will, for its part, give up a maximum of distinguishing and separating principles, thus creating as wide a common denominator as possible which will create the unity between the streams! But is this the real solution, requiring every stream to give up the truth that guides their life and what they believe in?!

"The One Sukkah" teaches us a way to create unity despite the disparity, without blurring the differences.

The Sukkah - a memorial to the Sukkot of the “Clouds of Glory” by which they were sheltered in the desert. The “Clouds of Glory” was a major Sukkah that encompassed all of Israel as one. Everyone was there for their tribes. Each tribe – with its special character and its special flag and all were assembled as one man in "צילא דמיהמנותא "The Shadow of Faith” -“Tzila Demhimanutha" under the wings of the Shekinah.

There, the unique identity of each tribe was not blurred. On the contrary, each tribe was a pillar of the complete Am Israel. The joint and infringing stay had the potential of mutual dialogue and complementary projection, each affecting their uniqueness to one another.

Also, in the future "He will give the righteous the merit to sit in the Sukkah of the skin of Leviathan." Each righteous man with his own special way connects to his fellow under the wings of the Shekinah.

Nowadays, the Sukkah is the model for true Israeli unity. Into this “all of Israel” Sukkah, all the citizens of Israel enter, anyone with a link to the people of Israel, its destiny and fate. Anyone who wants the benefit and success of the people of Israel.

To the Sukkah, he is supposed to come when his view has a nucleus of truth. Even if it is to emphasize the difference and uniqueness of the view and approach. The basic nucleus, is a core of truth.

At the entrance to the Sukkah the basic approach must be that there needs to be acceptance of the different ideologies, they all have a truth that is necessary for the complete mosaic of opinions, and through dialogue it can be placed in the mosaic at the right place and weight. It is precisely because of its diversity that it is an essential pillar for the complete building of the ideas and opinions and approaches and practices that build the House of Israel. We should not give up on anyone.

The Sukkah is a temporary building. It can easily crash. At the entrance to the Sukkah, everyone must understand that our national building is fragile, and if we do not act carefully and act as if we have an insurance certificate forever, it may indeed collapse.

Come, brothers, to the Sukkah - all of us!

And we will find the way to bridge and take advantage of each other’s differences.

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