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Shabbat Chol Hamo'ed

"The nations shall know that I, the Eternal One, am holy in Israel" Ezekiel 39:7

    King Gog from the land of Magog is a future king, the last of Israel's enemies. He will be definitively destroyed by God Himself at the outbreak of the messianic times, according to the haftarah this Shabbat. His defeat will be the ultimate public and universal demonstration of God's holiness.

    But why do we read about this apocalyptic theme of Gog and Magog during Succot? Succot, once in biblical and talmudic times the principal Jewish festival, attracted in the course of time various meanings and symbols: the obligation to be joyful and symbols of the human need for water and life. For many today, the lulav and succah are the main features of Succot. Nowadays the succah often stands for the fragility of life but this meaning is quite modern. Originally, it wanted to remind us of "King David's hut" - the Temple - and the "clouds of glory" - God's presence - in the desert. All symbols and customs of Succot can be summarised in its primary meaning, as expressed in the various haftarot during the festival: God's presence among us, which will become experienced reality in future messianic times.

    All the haftarot during Succot tell us, from various angles, the story of God's presence. This Shabbat we read how God will establish His holiness. This first pilgrimage festival of the new year wants us to start with one thing: hope. Sometimes, it is good to focus on what we want to become and on where we strive to go in order to renew our Jewish life today, in all its frailty and neediness, with the energising hope that God's presence, life, beauty and goodness will finally prevail.

Sidrah

Lech Lecha

Rabbi Daniella Kolodny

Lech Lecha
Sidrah

Chol Hamo'ed

Rabbi Mark Solomon

Chol Hamo'ed
Sidrah

Nitzavim

Rabbi Larry Tabick

Nitzavim
Sidrah

Noach

Rabbi Dr Benjamin Elton

Noach
Sidrah

Ha'azinu

Rabbi Daniel Roselaar

Ha'azinu
Sidrah

Ki Tavo

Maureen Kendler

Ki Tavo
Sidrah

Bereshit

Rabbi Joseph Dweck

Bereshit
Sidrah

Vayelech

Rebbetzen Dr Lynndy Levin

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Vayelech
Sidrah

Ki Tetzei

Rabbi Mark Solomon

Ki Tetzei