These two texts challenge us to pay close attention to the power dynamics involved in a hegemonic body adopting cultural products of a subordinate group. Sometimes erasure comes through restricting the minority practice of its own culture, as in Antiochus's later persecution, which we marked on Chanukah. But sometimes erasure comes through cultural appropriation, depending on a subordinate group to create culture, and then taking it and turning it from culture to artifact, from lifeline to epitaph.
Our calendar starts our holiday season with Tisha B’av, a day dedicated to sadness and mourning and ends our season with the height of happiness, Simchat Torah. The vast majority of the time, our task is to exist somewhere in between those two ends of the cord.
We must move beyond our day to day traditions to find more piety. Perhaps we may use Sukkot as a launching point to become more involved, standing with those who seek sanctuary on a daily basis.
Sukkot raises the questions of how to cultivate joy in times of tragedy, where we derive safety and security, what it means to have enough in our daily lives, and how to share what we have with others as a critical expression of our own humanity.