The following is the introduction to the unit on the value of Joy.
Sukkot is the Feast of Booths; a 7-day holiday where we abandon sturdy shelter and opt instead for flimsy shacks. On Sukkot we don’t sleep in 5-star hotels, we sleep in 5 billion star hotels made of palm fronds and tapestries. It is the grand exit from all of life’s fixed sureties. We are busy studying how to release our clutches on physical wealth to take firm hold on the riches of Spirit instead.
The main theme of Sukkot is Simcha, Hebrew for true joy. Interestingly, it occurs almost immediately following the solemn and introspective High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
This teaches us that joy is not dependent on physical factors. Rather, true joy comes from savoring all that we have – the spiritual growth we experienced during the High Holidays, the blessings that permeate our lives, the relationships we have built, the beauty of our tradition, and the rarified pleasure of connecting with the Divine.
Joy is also most strongly born from doing good and being of service. The mitzvah of welcoming guests, hachnasat orchim, is thus an unparalleled way to access joy and one of the focal points of this holiday. An archetypal form of giving is when we open up our very homes with generosity and love to friends, family, and those in need. Such giving fills our lives with the richness of a joy that propels us upward to express our very best selves and bring out that best in others.
The Year of Growth book enriches the Momentum year-long journey. Most Partner Organizations build on Year of Growth resources to deepen group learning. Mothers use the book to share learning with friends and family and to bring the learning back to their children.
Year of Growth is given in Israel to all Momentum trip participants in English, Russian, Spanish, or Hebrew as of 2020.