Some people (present company excluded, of course) love to hate Sukkot.

We boast to our friends about the great pains we go through to build the biggest, strongest and most beautiful sukkah the world has ever seen.

We love to kvetch about the difficulty of planning outdoor meals when the heavens may gift us with steamy sunshine, torrents of rain, a sprinkling of early snow, or any combination thereof.

We complain about the inconvenience of having to drag a three-course dinner out to the backyard and how little we like pine needles in our soup.

We can go on and on about how hard it is to have yet another Jewish holiday coming so close to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We have had enough round challah in honey, don’t want to look at another pan of potato kugel and can’t bear the sight of yet another bowl of sushi salad.

Of course we deeply love the holiday, its mitzvahs, and the many opportunities it provides us to bond with family, enrich our appreciation of our tradition, and strengthen our connection to G‑d.

But still, do the Jewish holidays need to be so intense? Why do they need to be so labor-intensive and (pardon me for mentioning it) expensive?

That’s right. Religious Jews spend many thousands of dollars on lulav and etrog sets, fresh greenery to cover the sukkah, outfits for the kids, and food—oy the food!

Yes, the holidays can be celebrated on a shoestring budget, but for some reason, we feel compelled to go all out, spending just a bit more than we can afford and investing more energy than we knew we had.

For some this entails inviting just one more family, and for others it may mean purchasing the ingredients to make a little extra something to honor the holiday.

G‑d Himself knows that we Jews are spread across the financial spectrum from wealthy to comfortable to just-getting-by to living paycheck-to-paycheck and deeply in debt.

Yet, we all go out of our way to honor Him and celebrate His holidays with joy.

This leads me to something I’ve heard from my grandfather more than a dozen times.

Having passed the 90-year marker, Zaydie has seen a lot.

He remembers the time when chalav Yisrael milk in New York needed to be brought from the farm, when there wasn’t a single kosher bakery in Los Angeles, and people fully expected American Orthodox Jewry to fade away with the “greenhorns” who lovingly carried it over the ocean from the Old Country.

Yet the pioneering men and women of his generation successfully raised their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to treasure Judaism and live its ideals.

When they were children, they were scorned by their neighbors, teachers and friends for clinging to the old-fashioned ways of the shtetl. “America is a great melting pot,” they were told by their Yiddish-accented elders, “blend in and lose yourself.”

But, inspired by the example of the Sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, who had come to American from war-torn Europe in 1940, Zaydie and his friends proudly embraced Judaism, at home and on the street.

When observing the tremendous growth of Jewish life in America, Zaydie often points to a verse in this week’s Torah portion: “And Jeshurun became fat and rebelled.” Despite the bounty G‑d gave them, our ancestors chose to rebel. The verse highlights the direct line that often extends from material success to moral denigration.

“I take issue with this verse,” Zaydie likes to say. “I look around and see what Jews do with the riches America has given them. They buy glatt kosher food, they send their kids to top-notch Torah day schools, and they celebrate His holidays with lavishness. Walk into a kosher grocery store and see shelves of products we never dreamed of.”

Instead of using our riches to rebel, we use them to serve G‑d in the best way possible. We’ve broken the mold.

Now, he concludes prayerfully, it’s time for G‑d to do likewise. Our parshah is replete with verses foretelling the suffering that will be heaped upon our people as a result of our insubordination. Our request is that He break away from the promises of suffering and difficulty and replace them with joy, tranquility and redemption.

We’ve passed the test; now it’s time for the test to pass us.