Sunday, October 4, 2015

Happy Torah!

Tonight we celebrate the end of the festival of Sukkot, and the holiday of Simchat Torah. Join us at Congregation Adas Emuno at 6 PM for Subs in the Succah (in the Social Hall in case of rain or hurricane), and 7 PM for our Simchat Torah observance and celebration, including the consecration of our religious school students.

And to help get in the mood:

It's time to rewind the scroll and start our Torah-reading cycle again, a chance for new beginnings with the new year. Come and be a part of the Spirit of 5776 at Adas Emuno!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Pope Francis Holds Interfaith Prayer at 9/11 Memorial

In case you missed it, here is a video of the interfaith prayer ceremony held at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City on Friday, September 25th, in conjunction with the recent visit by Pope Francis. In addition to the prayers and meditations offered by Pope Francis, the service featured participation by the rabbi of our sister shul, New York's Park Avenue Synagogue, Elliot Cosgrover, side by side with Imam Khalid Latif, the Muslim chaplain at New York University. 

Also note the moving rendition, about 22 minutes into the video, of the Hebrew memorial prayer, El Malah Rachamim, as chanted by Park Avenue Synagogue's cantor, Azi Schwartz, followed by a rendition of Oseh Shalom in which others joined in, including New York's Archbishop, Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

The Young People's Chorus of New York City, closing the ceremony with "Let There Be Peace on Earth," exemplified the spirit of interfaith tolerance, amity, and cooperation. To this, we can only say, amen, amen!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Doris White's Yom Kippur Appeal 5776

L’Shana Tova.

I have been chosen to give the Yom Kippur appeal for two reasons: (1) I was absent from the meeting when the speaker was chosen and (2) my fellow board members thought I might be a good candidate because I left Adas Emuno for a few years and then returned. In truth, I feel honored to be standing here. I can’t think of a more supportive place to help me overcome a bit of nervousness at speaking before a packed house.

Yes. I did leave this congregation for a few years. Sometimes we feel as I did that the person and the place are no longer a good fit, and I did feel that way. My daughters and I joined temples in their towns, and it was fine, but not the same. After a year or two, I met Eileen Cohen who said, “Come back. Give it a try. We have a wonderful rabbi. Drop by one Saturday for Torah study.” It took me a few months, but one Saturday I decided to see this wonderful rabbi. The rest, as they say, is history. Rabbi Schwartz had me from his first thoughtful comments, and I became a regular at Torah study. Then I attended Friday night services and a few special events, and yes—dear listener—I rejoined and became a member of a vibrant, thoughtful, intellectual, musical, inspirational congregation. Shortly thereafter my daughters and their children came with me. When Cantor Horowitz arrived last year, the picture was complete. We here at Adas Emuno call Rabbi Schwartz and Cantor Horowitz the dream team, and we are so lucky that they are here. Everyone who was at last night’s Kol Nidre service can attest to the words and music that took their places in our hearts and our minds. Sadly, Rabbi, another sports legend passed away yesterday, Yogi Berra, with his own way with words, but his legacy is pure gold—no asterisk there.

We can’t close our eyes to the fact that synagogues in our area are closing: a few years ago Congregation Sons of Israel and shortly Gesher Shalom in Fort Lee. My talk will not concentrate on asking you to keep Adas Emuno alive; I’d like you to witness with me that we are alive with great energy, great spirit and great heart. We cross the generations as is reflected in our board, we are inclusive of everyone who wants to be here, and our welcome is strong. Our board works diligently to keep abreast of the times and offers activities that we want you to join: upcoming a walking tour of the Lower East Side, a fund raising event for our religious school called Treats and Treasures which will take place on October 29th at Modiani Kitchen in Englewood with prizes ranging from restaurant and store gift cards to a week at a vacation home in North Carolina. There will even be a cooking demonstration given by someone I know very well. We have our fingers on the pulse of our members; we are thinking and planning speakers, songfests, celebrations and prayer. The whole megillah.

Did you know that we celebrate the holidays with joy and music? Please join us in the Sukkah on October 2nd for performances by our youngest to our most mature members. Then on October 4th we offer subs in the Sukkah followed by our annual Simchat Torah service which spills out of our doors as we read the last words of the Torah and then begin the ancient ritual of starting over with the first words of Genesis. Please join us; we need your voices and your hands as we raise the Torah high.

Did you know that this year’s Torah study theme is Jewish ethics? Come and join us Saturday mornings from 10-11:30. Rabbi Schwartz discusses each section with commentary, psychology, archeology, history and politics. Even on the coldest winter mornings the talk is lively and stimulating with the many different perspectives offered by our members and guests. Everyone is welcome.

Did you know that we have a Poetry Garden the second Sunday of each month from 7-8 PM? Those of us who love the sound of words gather in the garden when it is warm and in the social hall when it is not. We read our favorite poems, classic and current, or listen to what others read or even share our own poetic thoughts. This past Sunday as the darkness fell, we recited some children’s poetry , were introduced to a new poet, Chanah Bloch. Each month we are surprised and delighted by poetry. Come and join us.

Did you know that we have a lively adult education program that has brought us folk dancing, scholars, comedians, archaeologists, members from Israel’s IDF? Please enjoy these special times with us.

Did you know that we have an engaged and dedicated staff of Hebrew teachers under the direction of Cantor Horowitz and an enrollment of excellent students in grades K through confirmation? We even have a Tot Mitzvah program for 2-1/2- to 4-year-olds that meets three times in the fall and three times in the spring in conjunction with the holidays. I invite you to take a walk or ride past our Hebrew school at noon on Sundays and see the faces of the children as they greet their parents with talk of what they learned and enthusiasm for the several projects the school offers.

Did you know that the B'nai Mitvahs in this temple are such meaningful experiences for our students? I know because three of my grandchildren stood on this bimah as Bar/Bat Mitvahs in the Spring. I invite you to attend the next such event so you can join with me in watching as this temple, these children and their families, this “dream team” inducts our children so meaningfully and so joyfully into the rituals, obligations and beauty of coming of age in Judaism. I was passed the special Torah, saved from the Holocaust in Czechoslovakia, and then passed it to my children and kvelled as they passed it down to their children, my beloved grandchildren. There are no words for this; you have to come and experience it yourselves.

Did you know that 10 students are continuing their Hebrew education past Bar/Bat Mitzvah as they meet with the rabbi in confirmation class? This year they will explore and discuss the many issues and decisions facing Jews and their connection to and support of Israel: topics such as the Iran situation, the Palestinian state conundrum, capital punishment, euthanasia. What a range of thoughtful topics for our young people on the threshold of becoming adults.

I also invite you to share with me the feeling of Shalom when I enter the sanctuary for Friday evening services. Each Shabbat I marvel again at the wisdom of separating the work week of tension, hassle, racing the clock with the ushering in of a time for rest, reflection and prayer. I often enter bringing with me the problems of my week and I feel them evaporating as the songs and prayers offered by Rabbi Schwartz, Cantor Horowitz and our congregation take their rightful place in my priorities. Rabbi Schwartz always provides his thoughts on what is happening in the world outside of ourselves, providing thought and even action as I go through the following week.

Perhaps my favorite part of the service is the Mi Sheberach prayer when we all join hands and send our healing thoughts to those who need them. We say the prayer together with joined hands and then give each others’ hands a final squeeze. I hope you will make time on a Friday night to join us and share in this healing communal spirit.

So we are alive and well and residing at 254 Broad Avenue in Leonia, New Jersey. We are privileged to be here with our dream team, our families, our friends, each other. Please take a minute, look around and absorb the worshipful aura in this sanctuary. Please think of this sharing as you consider your donation for this Yom Kippur appeal, and think of how your donation will support all the excellent happenings that make Congregation Adas Emuno such a special place.

I will end with a personal story. This summer, when her brothers and cousins were at camp, my granddaughter Stella asked me for a sleep over. What could be better? Of course I said, Yes. Then she asked me what we were going to do: I said: we would get manicures and pedicures, eat dinner and see a play in New York, and go to Shabbat services. She looked at me, but she knew I was serious. And so on a hot summer night in July, we did just that. Cantor Horowitz had brought her guitar and her lovely voice into the garden, and we sat on chairs around the lovely pond—thank you Rabbi and Fred Cohen. After the service was over, Stella said, “Bubbie, that was really nice. I love the way Lance sings the prayers and is so into it.” The next morning as were heading out for the manicures and pedicures, she said, “You know, Bub, I’m really glad we came back to your temple. It’s so heart to heart.”

Please open your own hearts and help us to keep this great Adas Emuno heart beating. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Images of Tashlich 5776

Congregation Adas Emuno held our annual Tashlich ceremony on Rosh Hashanah, following the conclusion of the afternoon children's and community service.

The service was held at New Overpeck Park in Leonia, one of Bergen County's largest park area. Rabbi Schwartz and Cantor Horowitz led the brief but beautiful ceremony, attended by several dozen congregants.

In keeping with tradition, Tashlich culminates with our throwing bread upon the water, to symbolize the casting out of sin.

It was a lovely day, perfect weather, and a truly moving spiritual experience was had by all!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Rabbi Schwartz's Sermon for Yom Kippur 5776




In early July an 8-year-old boy from Baltimore named Zion Harvey became the world’s first recipient of a pediatric bilateral hand transplant. Zion was only 2 years old when he nearly died of a massive sepsis infection that forced the amputation of his hands and legs and compromised his kidneys. He received a kidney from his mother Pattie. In 2012 he visited Dr. Scott Kozin at Shriners Hospital of Philadelphia, who made the daring suggestion that rather than be fitted with a prosthesis Zion be considered for the double hand transplant. He underwent the daunting operation at nearby Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia under the direction of Dr. L. Scott Levin. Ten attending surgeons worked ten and a half hours, with a support staff of thirty. Today a team of physical and occupational therapists is teaching Zion to once again use his hands. Zion is one remarkable kid, with an irrepressible spirit and incandescent smile. If you haven’t seen his story on YouTube, watch it. You will cry.

Long before fingerprint ID, our ancestors realized that our hands are uniquely our own. They help define each and every person. The words of our millennia-old liturgy, words that we recited Rosh Hashanah morning and this morning, contain a striking phrase that you miss if you don’t know the Hebrew. In the U’netaneh Tokef—“Who Shall Live, Who Shall Die” section we read, “You open the book of our days, and what is written there proclaims itself, for it bears the signature of every human being.” The term for “signature” is hotem yad, literally the imprint of our hand: our palm print. In metaphorical language that recognized every person’s unique set of hands, the liturgy is suggesting that God remembers our every deed by examining the Book of Life that is the work of our hands, our own actions.

Three years ago an international team of scientists announced that some of the famous cave art from Spain and France was far older than previous thought. And it turned out that the oldest of the old, earlier than the stunning murals of bison and horses, was a simple red stencil hand print at El Castillo. Almost 40,000 years ago a Stone Age man or woman held up his or her hand and drew its outline, saying “this is me, I am here”.

Is it any different than your child saying, “Look Mommy, look Daddy. Look what I made,” and proudly holding up their hand print. What do you do? You hang it on the refrigerator, for everyone to see. Once caves were sacred space; now it’s the kitchen. How little has changed in forty thousand years.

Even before we speak we signal with our hands. The Talmud says that we enter the world with ours fists clenched and leave it with our hands open. Think about the implications of that one for a moment—there’s a whole sermon there… which I will give at another time.

As humankind advanced, our hand print evolved into our signature. The remarkable dexterity of the human hand, so crucial to primitive tool making, now enabled writing. Why is it that we still seek an autographed book or baseball? The signature on an object immediately personalizes and connects to people. That was the copy of the Emancipation Proclamation that Lincoln himself signed. That was the ball that Babe Ruth autographed. The signature differentiates that document or ball from every other one.

Leonard Nimoy died this past year. His Vulcan hand salute on Star Trek, “live long and prosper,” was known the world over. Most of you probably know (but just in case you don’t) that the salute was taken from the priestly benediction that Nimoy saw when attending synagogue as a boy. To this day in traditional synagogues the cohanim still raise their hands during this prayer and form a “Shin”, which stands for Shaddai, one of God’s names. It’s the same reason that a “Shin” is drawn on the outside of every mezuzah parchment. I wonder how many Trekkies realize they are signing a Hebrew letter and copying a synagogue ritual when they make the Vulcan salute?

True Trekkies will remember a poignant image from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The Starship Enterprise had been gravely damaged. Scotty can’t do anything. There’s only one hope: someone must enter the radioactive nuclear chamber and manually repair the power source. It’s a suicide mission. To do so means certain death. Spock, that curious mixture of logic and compassion, goes in and locks the door. He saves the Enterprise. As he stands at the protective glass partition, already dying, mouthing his last words to his best friend Jim, he puts his hand against the glass in salute. Then Jim does the same, mirroring Spock’s hand. No further words are needed. It’s hand to hand; heart to heart.

By the way, if you visit some very traditional Jewish cemeteries you will occasionally see an engraved set of hands on the tombstone, held up much like Spock did. It’s highly unusual to see anything but Hebrew letters on Jewish tombs. But the sign of the hands was an exception reserved for cohanim.

The Bible is replete with images of hands: the right hand of might, the wicked hand, the bloodstained hand, the upraised hand of prayer.

Perhaps the most dramatic is the story of when Jacob conspires to steal the blessing of the firstborn of his brother Esau from his father Isaac. Jacob needs to impersonate his hairy brother before his blind father, so he wraps his hand in goatskin. When he meets his father, you can sense the shadow of doubt that passes over the aged patriarch at the moment of deception. “The voice is the voice of Jacob,” he says, “but the hands are the hands of Esau.” The hands win, and Jacob receives the blessing intended for Esau, and nothing is ever the same.

But there is another phrase from the Tanakh that I want to share, because it gets to the heart of what I want to say on this Yom Kippur. The Psalmist (115:7) speaks of the person “who has hands but does not touch.” Our hands have so many uses, but ultimately it is the simple power of the human touch that is most significant. I mean this physically and metaphorically.

When the liturgy says that God is looking for our imprint, consider that first and foremost we are being asked: have you reached out to another? Have you touched another’s life? Have you made a difference?

Family, friends, colleagues, clients, customers, casual acquaintances, even adversaries… the possibilities are all around, if we pursue them.

Have you taken their hand? Shaken their hand? Held their hand? Patted their back? Stroked their hair? Given them a hug?

“Who has hands but does not touch.” How awful to be invisible and untouched… and how much more so when you have the opportunity to touch and do not.

Audrey Hepburn, who I have never quoted before, said, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

A story is told of two God fearing people at the gates of heaven. God says to them: you both claim to be faithful servants. Now show me your hands. The two look at each other in surprise. The first puts out his hands; they are totally smooth. The second puts out his hands; they are full of scars. The Almighty ushers in the second, saying “well done”. The Almighty signals for the first to wait. “Why am I being detained?” he queries. God looks at his hands again, and then says, “Was there nothing worth fighting for? Was there nothing worth serving? You have lived a long life, and there are no scars?”

The folksinger Jewel has a beautiful song called “Hands”. In the last line she daringly suggests that “we are God’s hands”.

Would that we remember that as we go about our lives.

That remarkable little boy, Zion Harvey—he’s one of most articulate kids I’ve ever heard. He talked about how he managed to do so much without hands. He talked about what he wanted to do with hands. His goal is to one day swing on monkey bars. Toward the end of one interview he sensed a question that the interviewer did not explicitly ask: what would happen if the surgery does not go as planned, if the new hands do not take? He said, “And I’ll be fine if they mess up. Because I will still have my family.”

Zion Harvey touched thousands even before his new hands. I am sure he will touch thousands more.

Before I close… a personal note. I have wanted to give a sermon on hands for a long time. The reason is one some of you may suspect. My wife Debby is a hand rehabilitation therapist. These days she travels around the country and around the world teaching occupational and physical therapists the splinting of the hand. Before that she spent twenty years in the clinical setting. And part of that time she worked at Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia with Dr. Scott Kozin, the surgeon who first suggested Zion Harvery’s surgery and assisted with it.

So I knew this was time to give that sermon. And although I don’t usually dedicate sermons to individuals, this one is dedicated to Debby, my partner for the last 35 years.

The ancient Psalmist, the same one who spoke of hands that do not touch, concludes the 90th Psalm with a beautiful prayer, as I do now:

Vayehi noam Adonai Eloheinu aleinu; u’maseh yadeinu konena aleinu; u’maseh yadeinu konenainu.

May the favor of the Lord, our God, be upon us; let the work of our hands prosper; O prosper the work of our hands!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Rabbi Schwartz's Sermon for Kol Nidre 5776




Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron’s iconic career records for home runs on August 7th, 2007. Do you know what happened to the ball? It was put up for sale on an on-line auction. On Sept. 15th of that year the fashion designer and billion dollar lifestyle company head Marc Ecko payed $752,467 for it.

Then Ecko, who, by the way, is Jewish and was born, raised, and lives here in New Jersey, did something quite interesting. He created a website to let fans decide what to do with the ball. He gave them three options to vote for: donating it to the Baseball Hall of Fame untouched, donating it to the Hall of Fame with an asterisk branded on its surface, or launching it into space forever.

Well, 19% favored chucking it into space, 34% preferred to see it donated to the Hall as is, and 47% voted to brand it before donating.

So, majority wins, that’s exactly what Ecko did. Home run ball #756 sits in Cooperstown with a permanent asterisk.

Some applauded the stunt; others decried it. Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins said, “Why brand it? It’s an accomplishment of 21, 22 years. It hasn’t been proven that Bonds used steroids. It’s a cruel world we live in.”

But fellow Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer said, “I think time will sort out how you want to view it. The fans have a pretty good sense of what has gone on.”

Ecko himself said, in a bit of an understatement, that the poll results prove that fans believe Bond’s feat was “shrouded in a chapter of baseball history that wasn’t necessarily the clearest it could be.”

When I do a unit on integrity and cheating with my confirmation class, I have my students debate what should have been done with the ball. It makes for an interesting exercise. What intrigues me most is the issue of legacy. How should Bonds be remembered?

As a sports fan I find myself thinking about this question a lot, maybe more than I should, but there are so many provocative cases.

But before I share several of them, I must note that today marks the 50th anniversary of perhaps the greatest Jewish legacy sports event of all-time. Yes, it was on this Yom Kippur in 1965 that Sandy Koufax refused to pitch in the World Series.

As Koufax wrote in his autobiography: “There was never any decision to make, because there was never any possibility that I would pitch. Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the Jewish religion. The club knows that I don’t work that day.”

The writer Zev Chafets reported twenty years later, while doing research for a book: “I was told by hundreds of Jewish men across the United States that their most important Jewish memory was of Sandy sitting out the Series.”

Rabbi Daniel Pernick wrote recently: “Two specific events produced more Jewish pride than anything else in the turbulent decade of the 1960s—Sandy Koufax’s refusal to pitch on Yom Kippur in 1965, and not quite two years later, the Six Day War in June 1967. To this day, the name Sandy Koufax is uttered with awe-both because of his athletic prowess and his courage to stand true to his values.”

Now to the flip side:

Lance Armstrong was once a hero of mine. I read his book and actually gave a sermon about why he was a genuine hero. All the good work he did in the fight against cancer—how does that measure up against the lying and deception we now know went on for years?

What will be the ultimate legacy of all those players who confessed to using performance enhancing drugs or did not confess but are strongly suspected of doing so?

What will be the ultimate legacy of athletes who came to great achievement legitimately, but then broke other rules, like Pete Rose?

What will be the ultimate legacy of athletes who came to great achievement legitimately, but then broke social mores, like Tiger Woods?

Or consider the cautionary tale of Joe Paterno. In the course of three months, three years ago, the legendary coach lost his job, his reputation and his life. The NCAA initially punished both him and his team not because they did anything wrong, but evidently because they did not do enough right—in taking stronger steps to stop Jerry Sandusky’s abusive behavior. They stripped Penn State of 111 victories. This past January they reversed themselves and restored the wins. Sports Illustrated wrote a piece about it entitles, “It’s Complicated” with the tag line, “Joe Pa got his wins back, and his statue may follow. But legacies aren’t so easily restored—or defined.”

Paterno himself said in 2011: “This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight I wish I had done more.“

Respected sportswriter Tim Layden concluded his piece, “Stripping the victories was a punitive act with no connection to the crime. But the wins don’t exonerate Paterno. They add a thin layer atop an already complex legacy, comprised of the very good and the very bad.”

There’s that word again—legacy. And today, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is really about this—what do I want my legacy to be?

How can I make amends for the bad, and elevate the good?

How can I tip the scales of justice and compassion in my favor?

How I can I add a fresh chapter to the Book of Life that will be to my merit?

The most perplexing and problematic portion of our prayers… is also the most powerful and provocative. Why? Because it deals with our legacies.

It came earlier in our service and its worth delving a little deeper. When we started the U’netaneh Tokef section we said, “On Rosh Hashanah we reflect, and on Yom Kippur we consider: Who shall live for the sake of others; who, dying, shall leave a heritage of life.”

The traditional “Who Shall Live, Who Shall Die” prayers mince no words. “You write and You seal, You record and recount. You open the book of our days.” But then later, “and what is written there proclaims itself, for it bears the signature of every human being.” God may inscribe the Book of Life, but we generate the content. We sign off, as it were, on what is written. Our tradition argues that there is a Judge and there is judgement. But it also makes clear that we supply the facts—the evidence.

And there is more: the liturgy continues, “On Rosh Hashanah it is written, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed: who shall live and who shall die… who shall be secure and who shall be driven… who shall be tranquil and who shall be troubled… who shall be humbled and who shall be exalted,” and then the punchline, maybe the most important line of the entire High Holidays: “But repentance, prayer, and charity temper judgment’s sever decree.”

There are acts that we can do to actually reverse, or at least mitigate, our misdeeds. There are steps we can take to address a tarnished legacy. They are three in number and endless in potential: teshuva—repentance; tefilah—prayer; tzedakah—charity.

I could, and should, give a separate sermon on each of the three. Maybe next year. For now, I emphasize one basic point: Legacies are earned, not given. Legacies are an open book, not closed. Legacies are a life-long endeavor, not instant.

It’s not too late to temper the decree. It’s not too late to make repairs by making amends. It’s not too late to add a new chapter.

Besides Yom Kippur, when is another time that we speak about legacies? At funerals, during eulogies. Many, many times I have officiated at the funeral of an ordinary person, who achieved neither fame nor fortune. After all, how many will do that? And some times there is not a great deal for me to say, though I try very hard to listen to the family, and encourage them to speak as well. But other times, I do have a great deal that I can say. And I may need to limit myself because there a line of others who want to talk as well. Again, the person led an ordinary life, career-wise, wealth-wise, accomplishment wise. But the eulogies come pouring forth. You say to yourself: there is something extraordinary happening here. What is it that separates the ordinary from the extraordinary in these modest lives?

Our tradition has a word for it, or rather a phrase: keter shem tov—the crown of a good name.

The one who gave and asked nothing in return. The one who would give the shirt off their back. The one who loved freely and unconditionally.

The one who offered before being asked. The one who stood loyal and tall. The one we called a true mensch.

The one who made mistakes but admitted them. The one whose scowl ended in a smile. The one who laughed not at you but with you.

The full Talmudic teaching says, “There is the crown of royalty; there is the crown of the priesthood; there is the crown of scholarship… but the crown of a good name exceeds them all.”

It’s an extraordinary statement about legacy. Judaism has deep respect for royalty, for clergy, and certainly for scholars. We applaud those who devote themselves to leadership and to learning. The just ruler, the gifted healer, the inspired teacher… these are legacy makers.

But the accumulation of power, prestige, and even scholarship for its own sake—divorced from their ethical moorings—that’s a blot on one’s legacy, whatever the achievement.

Some will merit many crowns, but the one within reach of all exceeds them all. The greatest crown can be worn by the common man. The crown that will make all the difference in how we are remembered. The crown of a good name.

On this Yom Kippur we pause and reflect on the legacy we are already creating and will one day leave behind.

Few of us will be elected to any Hall of Fame save one, the circle of our family and friends.

Swing for the fences; hit a home run. Just make sure there is no asterisk on it.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Happy Sukkot!

As the Jewish holiday season continues with the week-long holiay of Sukkot, Congregation Adas Emuno wishes you all a chag sameach! And here is a fascinating look at Sukkot in Israel, uploaded to YouTube a few years ago:

Truly a celebration for every nation! Join us for our musical Sukkot events this evening, and Friday evening, and for Simchat Torah a week from tonight!