It rained on our sukkah this week. When we arrived at school on Monday some decorations were drooping, and the colors on some of the drawings had blurred together. A disappointing result, perhaps. For me, this experience drove home the essence of meaning of a sukkah. It symbolized for me resilience – a quality highly valued in education today.
The sukkah is a temporary dwelling where we experience both the magnificence of a fall night with a full moon and starlit sky alongside our vulnerabilities. We learn to live without the usual comforts of our air controlled homes, and we learn to celebrate with wind, rain, heat and cold. We learn how to pick ourselves up from a negative experience and to face a future with courage and hope.
So in spite of a soggy interior, our students held celebrations and classes in the sukkah this week. We held our monthly staff meeting in the sukkah. Life went on as it should and we learned to “bounce back.” These are the very concrete lessons that equally apply to our classroom thinking. We learn to assess what really matters, and we learn to find our way back from misunderstandings or mistakes.
On Wednesday, the school will celebrate Simchat Torah – the conclusion of this holiday cycle. As I ended the last school year with a conversation about endings holding the glimpses of the future, I see that again in this moment. We end this season with the beginning of Torah narratives once again. We return to the Torah book “beresheet” (the beginning). As we look at these stories once again, our year of growth and insights, provides us with an array of new meanings.
I wish you all a Chag Sameach. (Happy Holiday)