Drash Cards for Sukkot (5761)
by Marc Mangel
• Why sit in a sukkah? Note: the command is not to build it, but to sit in the sukkah. I will give intellectual, idealistic, and mystical reasons.
• In 1967, Lyn White wrote that the ‘roots of the environmental crisis’ was in Genesis Ch 1, v 28. This idea is now fairly well refuted.
• Here’s another approach: the transition to agriculture.
• In The Triumph of Evolution and the Failure of Creationism” Niles Eldrege writes “There is no doubt in my mind the that the Israelites (and presumably their agriculturally based neighbors) saw them selves as living outside the natural world surrounding them”
• This is the intellectual reason for string in a sukkah: we need to know the historic Jewish views of connection to the natural world per the Bible (since that was our only connection between 1948)
• Here’s the dualistic reason. On the 10th of Tishri we have Yom Kippur , at-one-ment with God we are angel like. Four days later we live in a frail structure surrounding by howling animals.
• Are we angels or animals? Yes. That is the beauty.
• Here’s the mystical or spiritual reason. According to Sheila Weinberg “Jewish spirituality flows through memory” and when we sit in the sukkah we invite each night the ancestors — to connect with them going back to Abraham