“In the Sukkot (booths) you shall dwell for seven days." - Leviticus, 23:42

The Sukkah remind us of the Clouds of Glory that surrounded and protected our people after leaving Egypt. During their forty years of wandering through the desert, on the way to the Land of Israel, these Clouds of Glory continuously protected them. It inspires us to believe that today, too, G‑d protects us in His special and unique way.

The protection in the desert was primarily from the elements — the sun during the day, the hot sand, and the harsh winds. Today we are not threatened on a daily basis from the hazards of such a hostile climate. Nevertheless, since Judaism must be relevant, since the commandments of the Torah are not just commemorating the past, there must be a lesson that is applicable in our lives. As a friend in recovery just asked me: “What does this holiday mean to me today?”

I know how fragile many of us can be. Both the addict and the non-addict alike may feel vulnerable and fearful, feeling that they are totally alone. Who doesn't need reassurance at times? We need to know that G‑d is taking care of us, and can always be counted upon. This reassurance is needed — especially if there has been any personal history of feeling rejected, abandoned or hurt. It could be very difficult for the addict to trust anyone, let alone an invisible G‑d.

While I am sitting in the Sukkah this year with my friends who are in recovery, I realize that they know exactly what they need protection from. It’s not what is outside — the heat or the cold, but it is what is on the inside. As I have heard many times, "It’s all an inside job." Self-doubt, fear, ego and resentment are the problem areas, just to name a few. Can G‑d protect me from my own thinking? Can G‑d protect me from myself?

Along comes the holiday of Sukkot, which allows us to tap into that deep knowledge that G‑d Has, Is and will be there for us. The Torah tells us to "dwell" in the Sukkah. I need to dwell on how I am not alone, that I can always count on G‑d. And no matter what my negative thinking says, I need to remember that I am worthy of G‑d’s care — simply because I am His child. If I can enter the Sukkah and sit still, study, pray and expose my self-sabotaging thoughts for what they are, I can hopefully experience what this holiday is all about — a 7-day hug from my Father in heaven.

We have a poster at Chabad Project Pride that says, "YOU NEVER HAVE TO BE ALONE AGAIN!" I think I can add: “And you never really were!”