To do this, we, jews, set up, decorate and live (if we're terribly dedicated) in our own temporary dwelling. We witness an empty space open to the elements - the winds, the rains, the sky, the air - gather about it 4 walls, an entrance where once there was nothing, a shelter, where once there was open sky. There's a sense of excitement in the novelty of it all, the creation of a "home", and what this means to us.
When we built the sukkah this year, I kept thinking about our concept of home. I'm a real home body, as Dror will back up, & I love the emotionally supportive & and comforting aspects of being in my own space, with the people I love, protected from everything external to it. Particularly in Australia, I feel we're all lucky to be here; Sydney, is a beautiful, clean and safe home, often sheltered from the realities and difficulties faced by the homes of the rest of the world.
Building the sukkah each year, I think, can act as a reminder to us of our place beneath the stars. Our homes, and our protection. We sort of take for granted the structures, apartments, houses, units & even societal laws that we live amongst. It's so normal to have walls, a ceiling and windows, that we perhaps no longer are able to see the significance and vulnerability of sectioning off a little space under the sky.
I follow the Dalai Lama on twitter :) And he tweeted on Wednesday that "A happy society must be created by people themselves, not through prayer alone, but by taking action." and I can't help but think this fleeting moment is our chance to do exactly that, and take action.
When we get home tonight, & sit underneath our shelters, inside our four walls, we are given a safe place to build something remarkable, and it seems like such a waste if we don't. Maybe, each year when we build the sukkah, our job is to remember that purpose, and to move forward with the building of something great, cause anyway, everything else is temporary.