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Shabbat Chol Hamoed Succot Hallel Paragraph Eight

“This is the day God made; let us sing and be happy with it.”  The Talmud applies this verse to the day when David, the rejected son of Yishai, was anointed as the future king of Israel. All the troubles of his past, all the fluctuations in the life of Samuel the prophet, disappeared in a moment when the future was clear and filled with expectation. It was not the end of a story, but a beginning.

The very first Shabbat would have been the beginning of the future rather than the conclusion of the week, had Adam not sinned. This concept of choice between Shabbat as a conclusion or a beginning is part of the nature of each Shabbat, as it is for Succot, the Festival of Gathering in the Harvest. We can look back on all our hard work and breathe in relief that our harvest was successful, the conclusion of the agricultural year, or, we can celebrate that we are prepared for the future. Our storehouses are full. We are ready to face the future with confidence, and say on this Shabbat-Succot Day of Beginnings; “This is the day God made; let us sing and be happy with it.”

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