Sukkot and the Unfinished World

5 years ago Hannah Butcher 0

On Thursday night, the second day of Sukkot, my family and I gathered under the roof of our rabbi’s holy sukkah. When we walked inside, however, plump water droplets plopped from the palms. We looked down at the table cloths, napkins, cups, and plates; they were all soaked by the Floridian rain. Astonished, people shuffled in and covered their mouths with their hands.

Rabbi Mendy acted quickly and advised us to lift the tables into the house. In the pouring rain, thirty Jews helped to lift the tables and silverware from the soggy sukkah.

Afterward, in the sukkah, we said kiddush and hamotzi. We all stood under the dripping roof to hear the powerful words of the rabbi. And, starting at that moment, everything seemed complete.

This year, Sukkot proved to me the concept of Jewish dedication. We all worked together to move Sukkot into the house, and, as we ate and drank together under the ceiling instead of under the stars, the woman across from me expressed her gratitude for simply being alive, and the boy beside me told the story of his encounter with a Holocaust survivor. We connected in ways unimaginable.

In our JLI class, our chapter learned that G-d left the world unfinished so that the Jewish people could finish it:

“And [G-d] rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because on it He rested from all His work that He created to do.”

(Bereishit 2:2-3)

The key phrase here is that G-d rested from His work that He “created to do.” He waits for us to complete mitzvahs (like participate in Sukkot despite obstacles) in order for us to complete the world and bring Moshiach now.

Although Sukkot happens every year, this year I felt a certain awareness of the world within me. It was as if the universe inside me was, at last, complete.