Our culture conditions us to believe in the illusion of difference: divided by class, race, education level, income and assets. Assessed and valued by what we have, what we own, and how much we give.
Who gets access to the best resources? Who has the biggest home or car? Who has the latest tech devices?
We get lured into the game of consumerism, playing catch up and keep up with our friends, neighbors, and strangers online.
That illusion of division disappears in nature. Nature is the great equalizer.
In nature, we all have access to the same resources. Nature doesn’t discriminate based on race or class or how much you own or what you have in the bank.
Storms and fires are equal opportunity destroyers, taking down whatever homes are in their path without regard to who owns them.
The pandemic has been indiscriminate in where it lodges, finding hosts in the homeless and in heads of state and countries.
This is one of the enduring lessons from the holiday of Sukkot. Whereas we might find ourselves divided when it comes to the size and nature of our homes, a sukkah is a great equalizer.
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks writes that
What makes a hut more beautiful than a home is that when it comes to Sukkot there is no difference between the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor. We are all strangers on earth, temporary residents in God’s almost eternal universe.
In the real world — the world of nature — we are all equally resourceful and equally vulnerable.
Nature doesn’t discriminate or play favorites.