Sukkot and Sacred Spaces

Photo of Pinchas Giller
by Rabbi Pinchas Giller
posted on October 7, 2022
The abiding theme of Sukkot, in Kabbalah, is the consecration of sacred space. The various main systems of Kabbalah concur that Divinity flows into the world through the instrument of ten emanations, or sefirot, stages in the descent of God’s energy into the world. The upper three of these emanations are purely cerebral, the levels of Wisdom, Understanding and Consciousness (Chochmah, Binah, Da’at, acronym: Chabad). The lower seven sefirot deal with the way that Divine energy is expressed in the phenomenal world. Read more...

The Best Jewish Holiday

Rabbi Bradley Artson
by Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
posted on September 20, 2021
After two days of Rosh Ha-Shanah and a day of fasting on Yom Kippur, you would think that Jews would be exhausted.  Enough Judaism, already! Yet at precisely that time, the calendar of Judaism presents a dazzling array of festivals--Sukkot, Hoshanah Rabbah, Sh'mini Atzeret, and Simhat Torah.  For more than a week, we continue to celebrate one holiday after another, each with its own set of rituals, songs, and customs. Read more...

The Significance of Aesthetics in Judaism

Headshot of Elliot Dorff
by Rabbi Elliot Dorff, PhD
posted on October 2, 2020
We appreciate our Jewish heritage for a long list of reasons. Among them are these: 1. It is ours, giving us a sense of identity. 2. It links us to our community, past, present, and future. 3. It spells out what is moral and motivates us to act morally. 4. It marks events in our lives, including the passing of each day and of the days of the week and year, and the life cycle events in our lives, thus giving a sense of differing meanings to those times. 5. It gives us a sense of God, that is, the transcendent aspect of human experience. Read more...

Sukkot: On the Heart for all Time

by Rabbi Cheryl Peretz
posted on October 10, 2019
A version of this message will appear in the Jewish Journal’s Table for Five Column in October 11’s issue. The joy and celebration of Sukkot is not limited to time or space of this world. In fact, according to the prophet Zechariah, whose words are read as the Haftarah on the first day of the holiday, Sukkot is the holiday that all will celebrate together in the World to Come. Zechariah was of the last biblical prophets, who taught as the Jews were building the Second Temple and reorganizing Jewish presence in the land of Israel. Read more...

Hidden and Not So Hidden Treasures

by Rabbi Cheryl Peretz
posted on September 26, 2018
Torah Reading
Haftarah Reading
I spent this summer a bit differently than most of my summers have been.  Most years, I plan some big trip - across the country, across the world, by a beach, on the sea.  But, for the first time in as long as I can remember, this summer, I decided to stay at home and committed to exploring places in Los Angeles I had never been. Read more...