The concept of God has been up for discussion since the beginning of time.
For a little kid, the thought of God can be quite overwhelming. “Hashem is here, Hashem is there, Hashem is truly everywhere. Up, up, down, down, right, left and all around. Here there and everywhere, that’s where he can be found!” Please tell me who wrote that song. (I apologize for writing all the words down because now that little ditty will be singing in my head all day long.) I remember wondering if God was under my bed, in the closet, hiding in the refrigerator when I went to sneak a snack. How could He possibly be everywhere? Is He there when I am taking a test? When I am shopping? And is He, an actual He? Many believe that God is a woman. As a woman, I should believe that as well. Unfortunately, I do not.
There are too many coincidences in our religion for God to be a female. For example, the holiday of Sukkot is upon us. The whole theme of this holiday centers around the actual sukkah. The locating the sukkah, the finding the tools to build the sukkah, and then the fun really begins. We start with the construction of the sukkah. Husbands all over the world are being mildly nudged by their wives to “Get off the couch and go build the sukkah, darling!” Wouldn’t you know it, but the beginning of the football season coincides with the building of the sukkah. If God is a woman, she has some sense of humor. If God is a man, he totally forgot about the football situation because he happens to be a hockey fan and hockey season doesn’t start for another few weeks.
That being said, when the man of the house finally decides to put his sukkah up (or have his neighbors help him complete this arduous task) the empty sukkah needs to be decorated. Hey, wait a second, where did everybody go? Yup, they are back on the couch and it is a woman’s responsibility to make sure the sukkah is tastefully adorned with various tchachkas. Unfortunately, the woman of this house decorates the sukkah based on her mood on that specific day. If this woman is in a bad mood, the sukkah is, well, pretty poorly decorated. There is one lone early childhood project hanging from the ceiling along with a light fixture (which we hope we won’t have to use too often because it uses electricity and the Monsey man of this house would prefer us eating in the dark. After all, that’s how they did it way back when, and we like being really authentic).
If the woman of the house is in a good mood, well, out come the pretty twinkle lights that we bought on sale at the Christmas Tree shop, and she attempts to cover the walls and ceiling of the sukkah with these beautiful lights. Who am I kidding, I usually can’t figure out how to untangle them and we have one or two wayward strings of light hanging in strange places. And I make sons 1, 2, and 3 tell me how beautiful they look. I hang up the homemade chains made the night before (even though they will fall down in the rain) and I let my beautiful sons hang up the posters with the pictures of the rabbis on them…. Live and let live, I always say. OK, I never say that, but they really like the poster so there it is.
This year, we learned from one of our children that you shouldn’t put the sukkah up until after Yom Kippur. This works out well for us because it prolongs the fighting that will occur when it is time to put the sukkah up. What’s a few more days for a family that has no idea what it is doing? Is it actually a true miracle that our sukkah has not fallen down on guests who have been eating there? But every year, the men of this house (and some of the men from the house down the block) do their very best to make sure that our sukkah is up to code and ready to help us fulfill the mitzvah the God intended….whether it’s a He or a She. It doesn’t really matter.
Just remember, people walking outside your sukkah can hear what is being said inside your sukkah.
Have a wonderful holiday!
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is hoping to decorate with the twinkle lights this year since she has become so much more positive!