October 19, 2016

Sukkah Surprise

I'm in Washington D.C. and I look towards the World Health Organization (WHO) a specialized agency of the United Nations. 

And lo' and behold, what do I see? 

It looks like a sukkah!

A sukkah is a small temporary hut that is put up on the Jewish holiday of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles or Booths) which we are celebrating now. 

The sukkah commemorates when the Jewish people left Egypt and journeyed through the desert for 40 years until they reached the promised land of Israel. 

Sukkot is traditionally one of three times a year of historical pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem, and this was fascinating to see this in DC just as the UNjust UNESCO failed history by erroneously declaring the Temple Mount in Jerusalem only sacred to Muslims. 

So while I'm thinking how cool is it that the WHO has a sukkah for the celebration--I've never seen a sukkah in Washington DC before.--I'm realizing this is something much more.

As I get closer, I see there are pictures of impoverished people with names of diseases like chagas and elephantiasis caused by parasites. 

As I then learn, this is not like any traditional sukkah--usually decorated, happy, and celebratory for the redemption from slavery and the founding of Jewish nationhood. 

I stop by some people outside and ask what this structure is and they tell me it's a favela (like a shanty town hut from Brazil).

The WHO had this put up as a display for an important meeting of public health officials, and they said I am welcome to take a look. 

So what is to some a sukkah for celebrating the holiday of redemption to another is a favela for learning about critical health conditions around the world. 

People are so connected all over the world in more ways than we normally realize. 

Either way, this temporary shelter is no place to call home, even though seeing it from a distance made me feel just that way.

Unfortunately, the UN does not duly recognize and respect the Jewish homeland, it's ancestry and religious connections to G-d, the Temple, and the Holy Land.

To the unfortunate bigoted and hateful UNESCO, I'm sure a sukkah is just another favela--that is the disease so prominent in their hearts and minds. 

But with hopefulness, perhaps even they can be miraculously redeemed like the symbolism we get from the sukkah. 

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

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