Submitted by Rabbi Arthur Waskow on
Can we make Sukkot an activist framework for Growing the Vote -- just five weeks before the November election?
We are offering you three forms of help to do this. One is -- posters of “ushpizin” -- sacred guests who are welcomed into the sukkah – – who have been heroes of work to guarantee voting rights to all Americans. A second is information on how most effectively to register new voters. The third: essays on how to apply the values of Sukkot to the crucial issues in this November’s election.
To access these ways pf Sharing Sukkot please click to <https://theshalomcenter.org/ShareSukkotResources>.
Here are two of the ushpizin posters:
I am adding a poster from 1984, the earliest days of The Shalom Center. President Reagan and the Andropov-Chernenko leadership of the Soviet Union were reheating the nuclear arms race in a frightening way. The Shalom Center built a sukkah on Lafayette Park in Washington, DC, midway between the White House and the Soviet Embassy, and organized a rally there urging both superstates to move toward freezing and ending the nuclear arms race.
The physical sukkah as a fragile, vulnerable hut and the festival of Sukkot both affirm the importance of peace, rather than threats and acts of war. The traditional Jewish evening prayers ask God to “spread over all of us the sukkah of shalom.” Why a sukkah rather than a fortress, a palace, even a house? Because shalom is more likely to be achieved when all the parties in a conflict recognize their vulnerability, rather than aggressively striving to dominate the other. That is even more likely in a world of nuclear weapons.
And Jewish tradition teaches that the harvest festival of Sukkot celebrates an abundant harvest not only for the Jewish people but for all the "70 nations" of the world.
So this aspect of the issues before us in the November election can be understood to affirm every effort to use diplomacy to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. From that perspective, the careful multinational diplomacy that achieved the end of Iran's nuclear-weapons program in exchange for the end of economic sanctions against Iran was a great triumph for peaceful sanity, and its cancellation was a tragedy.
In other Shalom Reports on Share Sukkot -- Grow the Vote, we will take up other aspects of the meaning of Sukkot as the election approaches.
Again, we welcome you to access these materials by clicking to
With blessings for shalom, salaam, sohl (“peace” in Farsi, the language of Iran) paz, peace.