Untried Means

Oct 12th, 2011 by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Music of Halacha
“It would be madness, and inconsistency, to suppose that things which have never yet been performed can be performed without employing some hitherto untried means (Francis Bacon).”

I use the same Succah every year, the same poles, the same canvas, the same support beams, and the same s’chach, but I always end up needing to add one thing to fix a problem that occurred the previous years.

I use the same system every year to keep my Haddasim and Aravot fresh throughout Succot, and always need to add one more trick to perfect my system. I’m now up to keeping everything perfect for about five days. (Open to suggestions!)

I daven the same prayers every day, but always find that I must add new Kavanot to keep my prayers fresh and meaningful.

I learn the same Torah every year, and always search for new insights, a new approach, a new commentary, so I can learn more from each portion.

I suspect that the reason the Succah is an imperfect structure is to challenge us to find something new each year to add or fix. It is a challenge to use the festival to consider what new means we can use to make this year better than the last. A new practice, a new approach to prayer, a new ingredient to add to our Shabbat. Who knows? Perhaps we will perform what hitherto has not.

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