The Bard’s clown in “Love’s Labor’s Lost,” has more to teach me than does Mary Poppins. “Honrificabilitudinitatibus,” which, depending on whom you ask, either means, ‘the state of being loaded with honors,’ or is an anagram proclaiming that Francis Bacon, not Shakespeare, wrote the great works, is a real word. (I could have used the anaconda-like name for the ‘Tobacco Monster Virus,’ but did not have the patience to type in 1,185 letters! Plus, clowns are more fun.)
“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” although far better known, is a nonsense word, perfect for the woman who is, “Practically Perfect in Every Way!” It just goes to prove that writers can string readers along pretty much until their hands cramp up.
Which brings me to Succot: I hear people complaining, “Enough already!” “How many holidays can we absorb in three weeks?” “It feels like it just keeps on going, just like Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!”
There are definitely things that seem dragged out but are still very real and meaningful, like, shall we say, “Honrificabilitudinitatibus,” for, in essence, we are being loaded with honors; Rosh Hashanah, Shofar, Yom Kippur, Succot, Succah, Lulav, Etrog, Hoshanot, and then it goes on even more through Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, and for we exiles, Shabbat is attached. All I can say is, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! (OK, enough already. I got it.)
How are we to deal with all the honors? Or, more honestly; how are we to deal with the feeling that all this is just dragging on and on?
Use the clown!
Succot is Z’man Simchateinu. We only feel that things are dragging if we are not enjoying ourselves, laughing and being happy. Time flies when you’re having fun! So, have fun.
There is the serious happiness that comes with reflecting on all we have gained through the Days of Awe, or, as I used to say when a pulpit rabbi, ‘The Awe-Full Days’ (Sorry, I couldn’t resist the fun!)
I want to also have some lighter happiness, like counting the stars I can see through the S’chach. I live in New York, so its possible to count the stars that are visible in the sky. I want to dance with my Lulav and Etrog, and have fun doing it. I want to enjoy eating while wrapped in twenty layers, trying to avoid getting honey on my clothes. I want to have a competition to see who runs quickest out of the Succah to avoid the bees. I want to play with the decoration’s shadows on the Succah walls to figure out what shapes they make. Basically, I want to have fun. I want to be happy. I want that joy to drag out for the entire year!
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