Dear readers,

Ever notice that there are some people who just always seem to be happy? No matter their circumstance, no matter what is happening in their lives, they always seem more easygoing. There is a certain contentedness in who and what they are and what is going on in their lives. It’s almost like they are surrounded by a cloud of equanimity.

And then there are people (like me!) who always seem to feel a certain restlessness with our lives. A certain discontent. A striving for more.

I often wonder if the two styles can coexist.

Can a person be a “seeker” for more in all areas of their lives, while still being “happy,” “easygoing” and “content” with what is? Or is the discontent perhaps the fuel pushing those seekers to do more, to experience more, to achieve more and to try that little bit harder?

There is only one holiday that is called the “season of happiness”—the holiday of Sukkot. It is not Pesach, when we became free people from our Egyptian exile; not Shavuot, when we experienced the awesome revelation of communicating with G‑d.

Sukkot celebrates and reenacts G‑d’s protective clouds of glory shielding us during our sojourn in the desert. Nowadays, too, we leave our permanent homes and live in our sukkah huts to demonstrate and develop our belief in our utter dependency on G‑d, who embraces and protects us.

So during the High Holiday season, and the awesome days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we work on ourselves and we strive to be more and do more. We make important commitments for the coming year, as we rededicate ourselves to be better people and to have a stronger connection with G‑d.

And though we need to take those steps and make those efforts, then comes Sukkot and we acknowledge that ultimately, in the grand scheme, it is G‑d who decides our life’s journey. It is His clouds of glory, not our own initiatives that protect us and propel us in our sojourn forward.

Perhaps this is the secret to our true inner happiness—whether we are naturally “seekers” or naturally “content” with our lives. Perhaps it is the dawning of this fundamental realization that Sukkot develops within us, more than any of our own efforts and our own work that is the catalyst of our happiness and joy.

We have a poster hung up in our home that reads: “Your journey is unfolding exactly as it should be.” It’s a comforting meditation and, I think, the crux of the message of Sukkot.

Ultimately, try as we might, or try as we should, we are all in G‑d’s arms, surrounded by His clouds of glory. Every moment. Every day. Every journey.

And that should surround all of us, seekers and strivers alike, with a comforting cloud of equanimity—and joy.

Wishing you a most joyous Sukkot holiday!

Chana Weisberg,
Editor, TJW