Shabbat Hol Hamoed Sukkot 5778

I confess that I felt a bit like the author of Kohelet earlier this week. This Sukkot, as we cycle back to the first chapter of the biblical scroll, we are struck by the futility of life. “One generation goes and another generation comes. But the earth always remains the same” (1:4). Or “Everything is exhausting. You can’t speak. The eye can’t see enough. The ear can’t hear enough” (1:8).
That’s how I felt after yet another mass shooting, with the soil of Las Vegas being the latest to be reddened by the blood of innocent people. It happened yet again, and it will likely happen again, because the leaders of our nation lack the will to do anything other than think and pray in the direction of the bereaved families. That’s how it seemed Kohelet would react, and that’s how I felt Monday.
But in studying that first chapter of Kohelet, I found hope within those very verses. And I read about the purpose of the many detailed laws of Sukkot, and found more hope. Then I learned of the response of some of my colleagues, and I felt still more hope.
I’ll address all these feelings on Shabbat morning. Wishing you Hag Sameah and Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi David Wise