01 Oct Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Shabbat Chol Hamo-ed Sukkot 5776
This Shabbat, as we continue our celebration of Sukkot, we read the special Torah reading for Shabbat Chol Hamo-ed Sukkot, the Shabbat during the intermediate days of Sukkot. The reading, which comes from the book of Sh’mot, Exodus, is also the reading for Shabbat Chol Hamo-ed Pesach, the Shabbat during the intermediate days of Passover, should there be a Shabbat within the intermediate days of Passover. While this section is likely chosen because of its mention of the three pilgrimage festivals, reading it at this particular time of year is always striking because of its inclusion of the “Thirteen Attributes of God”, a piece of text that plays such a prominent role in the liturgy of Yom Kippur which we observed only last week. It reminds us that even though our hearts have moved on to the times of celebration, we are still aware that the year 5776 has only barely begun and there is much we plan to accomplish. As the holiday season comes to a close, let us not forget the promises we made to each other and to ourselves during the High Holiday season so that we may do our best to fulfill our goals in this new year.
Shabbat Shalom and Mo’adim L’simcha,
Rabbi Hillel Skolnik