All in holiday

A few thousand years before the Holocaust, our people suffered under Pharoah. Lots of troubling comparisons can be made that show similarities between Pharoah and Hitler. Both subjugated and enslaved our people. Both refused to see us as equals, as God's children. As the Torah says, *Pharoah knew not Joseph.* (Exodus 1:8) The Pharoah refused to see and know Joseph and the Isaraelite people as fellow human beings. We are painfully aware of just how true this was for Hitler and the Third Reich, as our names were stripped from us, replaced with numbers tatooed on our arms

When I turned 14, I was excited to get my first job at Publix. I bagged groceries until just after my 18th birthday.

For the most part, I enjoyed interacting with people on the short walk to their cars. But around mid-December, I'd be filled with anxiety during my chats with customers. They'd ask about holiday plans, and then talk about their holiday plans. So far, so good. But then they'd say two words. And despite the dozens of interactions that ended with these two words, I never knew how I should respond. 

1) We shake the lulav and etrog in all directions when we enter the sukkah. As a Hebrew school student, I learned that this is because God is in all directions, and God's blessings are everywhere. We can feel God's blessing in every area of our lives. This is true, and a great lesson. But I like to think that another reason we shake the four species in every direction is to remind us that each of *us* can radiate blessing and goodness in every area of our lives. We don't have to wait for God to give it to us. We can give it to the world.