Dear Readers,

We recently celebrated the joyous occasion of the marriage of our third daughter. For the final sheva brachot, we had the privilege of hosting the young couple, together with other family members.

I enjoyed watching how my new son-in-law seamlessly merged into our family’s dynamics to truly becoming a son, and brother, to the rest of us. I loved observing, too, how the young couple interacted with each other, seeing their kindness and tenderness, and witnessing how two independent souls and personalities were fusing to become united as one.

During this special time—this beginning of their new life together—the newlyweds are in their own bubble of time and space, living in a dimension all of their own. It’s downright obvious in the glances, smiles and giggles that they exchange, and in the little gestures that they do for each other. Even while conversing and intermingling with others, there is almost an invisible wall encircling them—building, strengthening and protecting their budding relationship, where nothing exists but the two of them.

Perhaps that’s a little like the holiday of Sukkot.

We have just experienced the High Holiday season, where we spent our days reinforcing our connection and recommitting ourselves to G‑d. We asked G‑d to renew His relationship with us, just as we re-pledged our allegiance. It was a serious and awesome time. And now, G‑d asks us, before going back to the mundane schedules of our lives to spend one more holiday enfolded in the joyous celebration of His loving embrace.

We leave our material possessions, the protection of our permanent homes and the distraction of the daily grind of our schedules, and enter into the temporary sukkah. We enter with our entire being—eating, drinking and living there. For an entire week, we make this transient, precariously roofed hut into our home.

But within the walls of the sukkah, we realize that our protection and gratification does not come from the bricks of our homes or in the pleasure of the materialism we have left behind. Encircled within its bare walls, we have entered a new dimension of time and space, where we can feel our bond and connection with G‑d. As we look up to the open sky, we come to realize that only this relationship has eternal meaning, and that G‑d is our only Protector and Provider.

Hopefully, we will hold onto G‑d’s embrace. Hopefully, we will take the joy with us as we back to our permanent homes and into the nitty-gritty schedule of daily life, though now, greatly enriched.

Wishing you a very joyous Sukkot and Simchat Torah holiday!

And wishing my new son and daughter tremendous happiness and joy in their life together!

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW