SUCCOS: WHAT’S IN YOUR HARVEST?

Rebbetzin Rachel Verbov earned a master’s degree in Jewish History from Touro College. She has been teaching in seminaries in Israel for 19 years and was the Assistant Principal of Afikei Torah Seminary in Yerushalayim. She is the editor of the Jewish Woman’s Organizer, a Personal Life Coach, and a Kallah teacher. Rachel gives Taharas Hamishpacha Refresher Courses and Coaching Workshops on Self-Awareness & Shalom Bayis. She lives in Beitar Illit with her family.

I am a city girl, born and bred on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Growing up, there were no farmers on the entire island. Harvest? What’s that?

This summer, I took my kids to England to visit my in-laws. My mother-in-law is the proud farmer of what she calls her ‘allotment’. She plants her seeds with great planning and care. My kids treasure their time digging and collecting potatoes and onions with Grandma which we all then enjoy for dinner!

A harvest is a crop or produce. Let’s ask ourselves, “What have we produced this year?” What is our yield? Which values have we lived by and what kind of results did they bear?

Let’s say we value honesty, do we pay the amount agreed upon or do we find excuses not to pay in full? (Tuition, shul membership, worker’s fees) Let’s take another example, if we value emunah, do we express our faith through daily tefillos or do we dwell for long periods on our doubts? Say we value relationships, are we nurturing them? because they don’t develop by themselves. Do we call our Bubby every Erev Shabbos? Really listen to a friend who is in distress, and buy our mother her favorite chocolate bar on Mother’s Day?

Everything we do reaps a result. A more focused and thought out lifestyle can achieve the results we are aiming for. When we take the time out to leave the noise of our daily routine and check-in to our ‘succah’ of inner life and explore our true self stripped of the noise and graffiti of the world, we can discover our personal path and boldly plant our year according to our true wishes.

Chag Sameach! And may you all be wonderful farmers and reap lots of produce!