First Liberation, Then What?

Sukkot celebrates the challenges of everyday life.

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Passover celebrates a brave departure through a festive meal. Sukkot marks the hasty lunches and the endless wandering in the desert. Sukkot expresses the deeper Exodus--the reflective, gritty days of marching, during which a new generation grew up. Freedom came as the end result of pitching tents (booths) and taking them down over the course of 14,600 days. Sukkot honors the forty-three thousand meals prepared on the desert trek, the cleanups, the washing of utensils. Passover celebrates a moment of pure triumph. Sukkot celebrates a seemingly endless 40-year journey. Passover is the holiday of faith; Sukkot is the holiday of faithfulness.

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Rabbi Irving Greenberg

Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg was the president of Jewish Life Network/Steinhardt Foundation and founding president of CLAL, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. He also is the author of For the Sake of Heaven and Earth: The New Encounter Between Judaism and Christianity (2004, Jewish Publication Society).