Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Sukkah Sensitivity - 2

Sukkah Sensitivity (c) Rabbi Richard Wolpoe
One of the laws of the Sukkah roof (aka SCHACH) tells us if the shade is less than 50% it is invalid. And on the other hand, any thatched SCHACH that is so thick that rain cannot permeate is also not valid. So the cover must be more shade than sun, yet not so shady that neither rain nor the starlight can penetrate.

This can be considered a metaphor for how a Jew should deal with the outside world.

A protection or barrier of less than 50% is invalid; it is too prone to assimilation. It is by definition more outside than inside; it is too permeable to be considered valid protection. However, any barrier that does not allow rain drops or starlight, that is so thick-skinned as to be totally insensitive to the outside world, is also no good. IOW, avoiding assimilation does not entitle us to erect barriers that completely eliminates sensitivity to the outside world at large.


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