Last night some of my friends honored me with their presence in my succa – the booth prescribed by God to Moses in Leviticus 23:33-43 – and we talked about Israel. These friends are both novices when it comes to Israel and her customs, as are many of my friends. Generally, they want to know the whys and traditions and why I, as a Christian, choose to keep the Jewish traditions. It is always an opportunity to teach a little bit of what I know and to share my heart.
We sat in the succa, ate a lovely meal and talked quietly about current events, watched the starless sky through the lattice work as the brilliant moon moved slowly across the sky outshining the attempt we had made at outdoor lighting. We listened as an Air Force plane flew over and wondered if they wondered what on earth that big white thing was in our yard since it hadn’t been there before and we likened it to the movie, Close Encounters of a Third Kind. We were having a close encounter as we shared our hearts.
After my friends had left and I was getting ready for bed I was thinking about the evening and the succa and why it was that God had instructed the Jewish people to always remember. It wasn’t just enough that they talked about the events of coming out of Egypt, but they had to rehearse it every year by living in booths – tents with open air tops where you can see the stars – so they wouldn’t forget from whence they came. And so it is with every Jewish holiday – there is a reason for remembering. There is a reason for looking back so you can look forward. Maybe it is a play on back to the future; but, if we forget our past, our history, how can we not repeat it. Perhaps that is God’s reason for the remembering, for the rehearsing, for the preparing. As we remember, please take five minutes to look at this beautiful video.