Today is July 24, 2021 /

Temple Israel

Temple Israel

Building Community Since 1954
A Progressive Conservative Synagogue Serving Central Florida

(407) 647-3055 |
50 S. Moss Rd., Winter Springs, FL 32708

Chol haMoed Sukkot 5774

We are nothing if not a clever people. In the very special reading for Shabbat during Sukkot, we recite, among other things, the 13 attributes of God’s mercy. On a regular festival on a regular weekday, this selection is included in the Torah service right after we remove the Torahs from the ark. If the festival falls on Shabbat, like Yom Kippur did this year, we omit it. Why? First off, on Shabbat we curtail our appeals to only health and peace. Shabbat is enough of a blessing in and of itself that asking for more would be unseemly. Secondly, Shabbat represents the ultimate expression of God’s kindness to us. There should be no need for an appeal to His mercy.

But b’et ratzon, we know that during the holiday our closeness to God gives us unique standing before the Throne of Heaven. When you have been invited to the king’s banquet, as much as you enjoy the food, you’d be a fool to not mention a few things the king could help you with.

So we read from the section of the Torah that contains the original proclamation of the 13 attributes. God cannot be angry at us for reading His Torah after all. I told you we were clever. Now, if we can just make good use of that cleverness to guide our lives by Torah.