Sukkot in History Past & Future
Bar Kokhba did it, Sandy Koufax did it, and you can too! Life tosses us curve balls but at the end of the day we can learn a lot about how events during the Yamim Noraim shape our future and deepen our faith, even in the face of hardship. Join Rabbi David Sedley for this special journey.
Sukkot in History Past & Future: Lesson 1
Sukkot Past: This is the first of two shiurim (Sukkot Past and Sukkot Future. If only Dickens were around now I’m sure he could have made a book out of it). We will look at how King Solomon celebrated Sukkot in the year that he dedicated the First Temple (and why did he plan it for that date, causing the Jews to eat and celebrate on Yom Kippur of that year?) Is there a connection between Sukkot and the Temple? Continuing on that theme we will look at the importance of Sukkot for Bar Kochba. Of the coins that he minted, some have images related to the Temple, while others have images of Sukkot. We are also fortunate to have a letter that Bar Kochba wrote, ordering supplies for Sukkot Shimon to Yehuda bar Menashe to Qiryath Arabaya: I have sent you two donkeys that you shall send two men with them to Yehonathan bar Be’ayan and to Masabala, in order that they shall pack and send palm branches (lulavim) and citrons (etrogim) towards you to the camps. And you, from your place, send others who will bring you myrtles (hadassim) and willows (aravim). See that they are tithed and send them to the camp. Be well.” Why was Sukkot so important and so central to the Bar Kochba rebellion?
Sukkot in History Past & Future: Lesson 2
Sukkot Future: In this shiur we will learn the story of the End of Days, when G-d will give the gentile nations one last chance, and test them with the mitzva of sukkot. Why is sukkot the test in the future? We will also learn about the sukkah made from the skin of the leviathan in which the righteous will dwell in the World to Come. We will also ask (and possibly answer) why the Ra’avad specifically mentions in the laws of sukkah about a ruach hakodesh appearing in his yeshiva (and that will be our discussion of sukkah present).
Rabbi David Sedley lives in Jerusalem with his wife and six children. He was born and raised in New Zealand before making Aliya in 1992. He left Israel temporarily (for eight years) to serve as a communal Rabbi in Scotland and England and returned to Israel in 2004. He has translated Rabbeinu Yonah's commentary on Pirkei Avos and is the co-author of Sefiros: Spiritual Refinement Through Counting the Omer (both Judaica Press). Over the years Rabbi Sedley has worked as a journalist, a translator, a video director and in online reputation management. He also writes a weekly Torah blog on the Times of Israel.