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Plans for Blind Dating on Sukkot, God Willing

09/10/2021 03:28:22 PM

Sep10

Rabbi Brent Spodek

For the past few years, BHA has celebrated Sukkot on Main Street with Open to the Sky, our collaborative, open-source community Sukkah. It was built to facilitate serendipity, and part of the magic of Open to the Sky was its radical openness - I never knew who would come, who would teach, who would stay. 

However, last year - and unfortunately again this year - it does not seem wise to gather a large group of people who don’t know each other into a small space. 

Beyond the public health concerns, is the reality that our community is only as strong as the bonds which connect us to each other. For some of us, those bonds are stronger than ever, as we have supported each other through this period. For others of us, those bonds have been strained and frayed, as we haven’t seen each other at kiddush or classes or Hebrew school. Community is built not only through our formal programs, but by the informal side moments - the conversation in the hallway after a class  or whispered during services. Those points of connectivity simply cannot be replicated online. 

So to celebrate Sukkot this year, we’re going to open up the BHA sukkah for inhouse “blind dates.” Here’s how it will work:

  • For lunch and dinner on every day of Sukkot, there will be 10 seats available in the sukkah at BHA. 

  • Members of BHA who are vaccinated will be able to register for seats to bring their own meal to eat in the sukkah.

  • You can make plans in advance with friends you already know, or you can simply sign up and see who else shows up. You might be there by yourself, or you might connect with someone new in our community!

Register here for a Sukkot Dinner & Lunch Date.

Spiritually traditional Jews will often preface any statement about the future with the phrase, “בעזרת השם / b’ezrat haShem,” or “with the help of the Holy One,” as in “b’ezrat HaShem, the kids will go to school tomorrow.” In other words, I know what I have planned for tomorrow or next month, but who can really say what will happen? Certainly no human has that capacity. 

We all have learned that again and again these past 18 months. It is now - as it always has been - a dubious plan to get heavily invested in future plans. After all, who knows what might happen? 

B’ezrat Hashem, we will have a wonderful Sukkot this year, strengthening old bonds and making new ones. Beyond that, God willing, we will again build Open to the Sky to celebrate Sukkot  on Main Street. 

Mon, October 18 2021 12 Cheshvan 5782