In our backyards, on our porches, and outside our synagogues, Jews mark the fall harvest by building sturdy—yet fragile—structures out of natural materials, symbolizing both human vulnerability and God’s protection. No harvest holiday is complete without its fertility symbols, and Sukkot—when we wave the lulav and etrog—is no exception. Welcome Jewish women from throughout the ages into your sukkah as ushpizot, honored guests. Enjoy the crisp autumn air as you decorate your sukkah, then spend time with friends and family, celebrating your blessings and committing to sharing your bounty with others.
This, I believe, is why the High Holidays are followed immediately by Sukkot, the Festival of Booths. Five days after we acknowledge mortality, Sukkot is a celebration of the temporary.
After almost two months of rising to the challenge of repentance and renewal, granting one another second chances for each other and ourselves, we get a second to sit down.