"If you cut everything, there will be nothing left to harvest."
Rabbi Jonathan Singer of Temple Beth Am shared that simple wisdom as he led an interfaith vigil to mark Sukkot today.
The Jewish holiday of Sukkot, a celebration of God's abundance, falls from October 13th - October 19th this year. One tradition of Sukkot involves the construction of a sukkah, or temporary shelter, which symbolizes the years the Israelites spent wandering in exile from Egypt. The tradition of the sukkah speaks to the notion of fragility and exile inside abundance, and to the importance of providing shelter to those in need.
As the supercommittee led by Senator Patty Murray considers more than $1 trillion in cuts to health care, housing, education, and other services, Rabbi Singer and other faith leaders from the Faith Action Network constructed a temporary sukkah shelter outside the Federal Building to serve as the site of an interfaith prayer vigil. Joined by Working Washington and other supporters, they appealed to supercommittee members to act with discernment and wisdom to ensure shelter is provided to the most vulnerable — and to end the tax shelters and other loopholes which corporations and the rich exploit to avoid doing their part.
At the vigil, faith leaders from the Jewish, Baptist, Lutheran, and other traditions called on the supercommittee led by Senator Patty Murray to reckon with similar issues of shelter and abundance. Despite the abundant economic resources in our city and country, deep cuts are being considered to programs that serve the neediest members of our community, including Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, housing & homeless programs, and other critical services.
Similar prayer vigils were held at Federal Buildings in Yakima, Spokane and Tacoma.