Sukkot and the Quality of Life
Never-ending ambitions keep the world spinning hysterically. We live and strive for attainments in the future, while the achievements and successes of the past go by the wayside, forgotten.
Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to enjoy a college diploma, a friend, a business success, your spouse or even your child?
Try it. Try spending some time just enjoying what you have. Instead of looking for things to do, just sit and appreciate.
You tried it? Good! How long did it last - five minutes, 15 maybe?
It's difficult. And the more we strive for future goals, the harder it gets to appreciate past successes. Of course, goals are great and we should always strive higher. But do we sufficiently appreciate what we've already achieved?
We attain one goal, and then we want more and more. It doesn't stop even when we've achieved our biggest dream. It only stops ... when we say "stop!"
Sukkot is the holiday when we say "stop." Sukkot is the "happiness" holiday - which is really the "appreciation" holiday. It is the essence of everything we are striving for: meaning, fulfillment, purpose, happiness.
TAKING IT WITH YOU
Imagine taking a boat trip that will last for the rest of your life. If you could take along whatever you wanted, what would you take?
Life is really just one long voyage, a journey for which you need to choose what to take with you. Many people travel with light baggage. Sure, they can count a lot of friends, business associates, and even family. But they fail to truly "take them along" on the journey. Because all you really have is that which you appreciate.
In this sense, do you have your spouse? Do you have your children? Your community? Your Judaism? Your friends? Are they with you on your journey - or did you leave them at home?
Entering the Sukkah causes us to ask the question: What can I take with me into such a small space? What is most important in my life?
For a whole week, a Jew is to eat, sleep, learn, and converse in the Sukkah. All you have is what is really important to you.
Enjoy the Sukkah for one week ... and you will reap the rewards the whole year round.
BRAINSTORMING QUESTIONS TO PONDER
Question 1: What are your greatest possessions in life?
Question 2: What are you lacking? Can you enjoy life without those things you're lacking?
Question 3: Make a list of the things you really "have" at this moment. What do you regret not being able to include on the list?