Tuesday, October 05, 2004

HOshanah Rabbah -not a sermon

So the last chol (non-holiday day) of Sukkot approaches. This holiday in which we honeymoon with God in a little beach-shack hideaway covered with a thatch roof and all, and what do we do on our last day before the big party begins and we celebrate finally getting to the end of that huge scroll... we take willow leaves and whack them on the ground until the fall apart. Not exactly the expected denouemont. And what is that anyway? If all those hoshannahs throughout sukkot where we march around singing hallel (praise) to martial tunes is really a war march, then are we beating our swords into plowshares? Or maybe the lulav is really a great big.... fertility symbol (hmmm, oval shaped citrus fruit, long tall palm branches, held together and waved back and forth in every - that is, six- direction) then if we beat the lulav on the ground, until it disintegrates, is that denying that we depend on the earth, and implying that we only depend upon God? Right, and then we wait for the rain to start to prove that we've been forgiven, since we've survived this extremely extended period of trepidation, waiting to see through Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot, whether or not God will take us back in love. The Honeymoon is on! Of course, here on the east coast, one has a somewhat anticlimactic feeling - especially in D.C where the swampy weather usually includes four days of rain per week. Post-sukkot rain isn't exactly a desperately awaited blessing. Still, maybe it will drive the bees away, so we can finally finish one of those outdoor meals.

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