Monday, October 17, 2016

The Festival of Sukkot, Black Don't Crack, and Lots of Love

The Festival of Sukkot

We are now celebrating the Festival of Booths, a.k.a Sukkot.  This is when the Jewish people around the world build little huts and dwell in them for a period of time.  This is also the time when we do these interesting rituals of gathering a lulav (palm branch), an etrog (type of lemon), a myrtle branch and a branch from a willow tree.

All four "species" are held together and shaken in every direction while inside the sukkah.
The sukkah must be at least with three walls -- two and a half really.  The roof must be something natural -- either branch leaves, many use palm branch leaves, bamboo sticks, or wood.  And the sky shouldn't be completely covered -- you should be able to see some stars.

If the walls are made of soft materials such as sheets, then it must not bellow in the wind.

Inside the sukkah is filled with beautiful decorations.  It used to be that most of the decorations were various fake fruits dangling down a green leafy vine.  But someone got the bright idea of introducing (recycling?) Christmas decorations and selling it in Israel as Sukkah decorations.  So we have that now, lol.

These four species have many significant meaning.  The one that I want to focus on is the one which teaches that:

  • The etrog represents both tzaddik and scholar, the righteous individual who does good deeds and so has an aroma (doesn't smell "fishy" but in fact smells goodly) and studies Torah diligently and so is edible (nutritious).
  • The lulav represents those who only study Torah but not much good deeds; it is edible, but doesn't have a fragrance.  I.e. someone with wisdom, but not the commandments.
  • The myrtle is the one who had good deeds but doesn't have the capacity to study Torah.
  •  And the willow represents the one who has neither Torah learning nor good deeds.

The Lulav & Black folks

The lulav makes me think of Black folks, Native American Indians, all those "earthy" people who possess wisdom.  There are stories in the Talmud representing the wisdom in Africa.  To read some check out the women story, the story of Africa, and the judge's story.

History also bears out this truth with the introduction of mathematics by the Pheonicians, the universities of Mali, the Egyptians' creation of the pyramids, pyramids found in Sudan, the Dagon people and their knowledge of astrology.  The list goes on and on.

They have the wisdom.  But many do not have the commandments.  I remember riding in my car once and there was a lady, Black American, who was waiting for the red light.  But she wasn't waiting to cross the street.  When the light turned red, she went from car to car asking for charity.

I called her over and gave her whatever I had on the dashboard.  She looked surprise and I asked her what was so surprising.  She answer," Most times Black folks don't give me charity."

I was kind of crushed.  I do remember walking with friends and if we saw a poor on the street they would make comments like, "why give him money?  He'll just spend it on booze."  And with that the thought of giving charity was dismissed.

And with the constant propaganda at work by mainstream media, the riff between black folks is only increasing.

Being influenced by the depravity that is around them, many black communities have to deal with lots of theft, baby mama drama, murder, etc.

These commandments are pleasant.  They anchors a person to this world.  They tell/remind us how to handle property, how to deal with other people, honor one's mother and father, do not steal, do not murder,  It anchors us to present world -- our world.

Black folks are brilliant and their wisdom precedes them.  However, something didn't anchor them to the world and they succumbed when they encountered the "spirit of folly" -- the evil one -- the storm wind.  Evil ran circles around them because evil is not logical.  It attempts to make itself seem logical, but if you try to understand it, you'd simply go crazy.

Black Don't Crack

All these things come to mind and I feel crushed.  Why are all the goodly people in such lowly positions?  Why do innocent countries get taken by wicked European countries and left in forever civil wars while the wicked take over the resources and take over the education process thereby ruining the next generation?  Why can't African-Americans come together and hold steadily and strong against the storm winds?

"That which Wisdom made a crown for her head, Humility made a heel for her sandal"

The Wisdom alone is not enough to fight this evil.

The height of wisdom is only the beginning of humility, of being humble.

Although it seems incredible to think that the humble one can be more powerful than the wise one, it is true!

What is so special about the humble one?  He goes on his path.  He does what he knows and doesn't sway neither to the right nor to the left.  He is consistent and continuous.  We have listened to the storm wind.  It constantly tells us how bad we are and tries to back it up with history, science, whatever else would make a good tool. It doesn't matter of one contradicts the other.  As long as at the present it is in a constant state of trying to get into our heads.

Haters have certain weapons that they use against us:

  • Lies
  • Distractions

These weapons can be easily defeated by truth (and therefore by wisdom).  But the problem is the consistency of the message.  We are bombarded daily with lies and distractions and propaganda telling us we should be thugs, we are thugs, we are not smart, and so on.  With the humble person, neither of these tools work.  The humble person only does what he knows.  He's not searching and so won't find the distractions.

Black folks tend to be truthful, keeping it real.  This could be why we don't see a lie coming? (Of course, it doesn't mean black folks never lie.  They would lie if they wanted to save face, etc.)
But with all the constant effort of haters trying to lie, trying to distract, trying to take over, trying to destroy, etc.  They are zooming themselves farther and farther from real time (or at least our time), making us and them look farther and farther apart.

Like totally different time zones!

As they speed away in their destructive direction, I suppose they see time very differently than we do.  And we see it differently than they do.  At the rate they're going - and as we look at life through their lens, black ain't neva gon crack! lol

This is all good and well, but the other problem that they are destroying the world as they move and that needs to stop.  We must stop it.

We must stop it.


So what could possibly have gotten us into this mess?  We have wisdom, but wisdom and truth can't fight crazy.  So how do we get out from under their crazy and evil oppression?  With wisdom and with good deeds/commandments from humble, Torah true teachers/teachings.  When can this happen?  Now!

The sukkah represents the world around us. We don't want the walls of our world, our house being swayed by the storm wind.  The roof something natural like the sky and we can see the stars.  We shake all the species and then draw their energy toward us in all the directions.  As we draw them toward us -- like a receptive woman, let us be humble with the knowledge that we gain from this and go in Gd's guiding voice.

I got lots of love for you all and am rooting for you!!  (for the sake of goodness, for the sake of humanity.)

Post script:  I don't know if it has to be good deeds that stem from Torah itself.  Torah is very baseline.  But perhaps even African Spirituality will have good deeds -- like libation,  festive dancing, etc.  Things that will anchor the individual to a time and place and thereby anchoring a person to the world.

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