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Parsha Shabbat Sukkot

Sukkot is the "time of our happiness," the most festive period in the Jewish calendar. It is characterised by parties, by living out in our gardens, by song, and by joyous prayer. Our most iconic prayer of thanksgiving and joy is the Hallel, and indeed, almost uniquely, we recite it in its entirety every day of Sukkot.

Towards the end of Hallel we find the phrase "Please G-d, save us! Please G-d, rescue us!" Why in a prayer of thanks and happiness do we sound this note? Isn't it out of place?

In our religion, we believe that we are all completely dependent and reliant upon G-d for our continued existence. We need G-d to save us every second, and we rejoice that up until now he has. That feeling of reliance upon the almighty is heightened by the festival of Sukkot when all of the trappings of human achievement are stripped away and we stand exposed to the elements, waiting to see if Hashem will allow us to fulfill the mitzvah of dwelling in our temporary homes today. Jewish happiness is about dependence, dependence on G-d. It is through that dependence that we find connection and love, and that we continue to build our relationship with our father after the momentous and iconic Daws of Awe. 

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BRIGHTON
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CONGREGATION

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