There’s a commercial airing on TV right now that makes everyone in my family giggle:
“Did you know that former NFL player Ickey Woods will celebrate almost anything?” it asks, and then cuts to footage of the ex-Bengal doing his famous “Ickey Shuffle” when his number is called at the grocery store deli counter. (We particularly like when he spikes what appears to be a package of sliced cheese in celebration.)
Tonight we begin the festival of Sukkot on the Jewish calendar, what is described in our liturgy as z’man simchateinu – our season of joy. But that’s kind of asking a lot, isn’t it? “I command you,” God says, “be joyful. Now.”
Yet maybe it isn’t so much about being joyful as it is finding joy. That’s why the commercial is so great. Because there is joy in hearing your number called – be it at the deli counter or the DMV. Or when the UPS truck stops in front of your house. Or when the carton of milk is almost finished, but there’s just enough for one more full glass to complement your plate of cookies.
We just don’t celebrate enough.
So, during this festival of Sukkot, find something small, something common, and celebrate like you hit the jackpot. Do a little dance, your own special shuffle; wave the lulav in the air like you just don’t care. There’s joy all year round; now is the time to remember it.