October 5, 2014, Israel
This week we mark the holiday of Sukkoth, known in English as the Feast of Tabernacles, as we have been each year for the past 3,700 years, give or take.
The "Three Legs" of the Jewish calendar are Sukkoth, Pesach (Passover) and Shavuoth, (The Feast of weeks). Each holiday has three components; Spiritual, historical and agricultural.
For Sukkoth the agricultural part is that very simply this was the season to gather the produce from the field. The produce was gathered, the people rejoiced and celebrated their good crops.
In those days they would build a little hut in the fields and stay there as it was easier than coming home each night. Those huts in Hebrew are Sukkoth.
The historical reason is to commemorate the exodus of our people from Egypt. During that time we had no permanent dwellings, the temporary huts remind us of the temporary dwellings we had during the long journey from Egypt to Israel. During that long journey we were at the mercy of the elements and under the direct protection of God.
The spiritual reason is to remind us that all of life is as shaky and unstable as our little hand-made huts. All year round we live in solid stone or brick or firm wooden homes. We are safe from the elements for the most part. We feel secure in our homes.
But once a year we build a little hut, the rain can destroy it, the wind can knock it over, in a sense we return to nature and we return to our roots. We become more sensitive to the earth and the elements.
We are not in our climate controlled homes, we are affected greatly by the natural elements as were our forefathers, and we are reminded that we are part of nature, and not above it.
Sometimes we need natural disasters to remind us of this. Tsunamis, floods and tornadoes destroy all in their paths and once again we are humbled. Sukkoth is a way of sending us the same message, only without the disaster element. Hopefully we do not need to be hit on the head to be reminded.
Krav Maga should be the same.
Do we need reminders?
Most of us live comfortable lives, most of the time. And then suddenly we hear of a terrible attack, perhaps against someone we knew in high-school, perhaps an old friend, perhaps a loved one. And suddenly we are shocked. Suddenly we start thinking that...perhaps we should start training in Krav Maga. But then...the feeling passes.
We live in an illusion. We live in a stone house and think we are totally safe. We all need a spiritual Sukkoth to remind us that in fact all year round we really live in a straw hut. At any time we can be blown away, flooded out, off with the wind, destroyed by an earthquake. Only we fool ourselves and repeat our mantra, "My strong house will keep me safe".
We need Sukkoth to remind us that we are not as safe as we think. We are not as protected as we think. We need to start training now. We need to start protecting our fragile lives now.
Learn about the ancient Hebrews and how they fought and how that tradition is being carried on today by the citizens of Israel.
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