Sukkot: My Dear Child


My dearest child,

Now that you have emerged just a bit and reentered my life on Yom Kippur, I would like to share a few words with you as we begin the holiday of Sukkot.

On the holy day of Yom Kippur I realized how lonely you must have been all alone inside of me for all these years. As I blessed you, my child, I came to understand that you are the purest part of me. You are the best of me. How sad that I did not recognize this earlier. On Yom Kippur I came in touch with you – and what a delight. You are so beautiful. I just wanted to tell you that.

You are not to blame for all the problems that you endured years ago. You are not bad, even when bad things were done to you.

On Yom Kippur I appealed to you: Please forgive me. Forgive me for ignoring you. Forgive me for not nurturing you. Forgive my iniquities. Be kind to me as I try to be kind to you. Just as I forgive you for hiding yourself from me all this time, causing me great anguish, please forgive me.

On Yom Kippur we were reintroduced to each other. Now, on Sukkot, I want to celebrate with you. It’s been so long. So, so long. For years I have been running, trying to hide, attempting to soothe myself. And all along you were there – waiting to be soothed, waiting to be loved and embraced unconditionally. Had I only known that and responded to your cries you would have soothed me more than anyone or anything could ever.

But now, let us make up for lost time and let us celebrate together. And when better to do so than on Sukkot?

For years I thought that the best way to create security is by building us an expensive house. I accumulated furnishings and other material delights. I build up equity and threw fancy parties. We went on exotic trips and visited the most beautiful islands. I felt that this was the path to success; the only way to keep us safe. How wrong I was.

All along you were trying to whisper to me that you saw our structure not as an expansive palace, but as a stone dungeon, a lifeless house. All the expensive furnishings and elaborate accruements were, for you, ostentatious distractions. All you wanted was a warm and nurturing home.  And when whispering didn’t work, you acted out, kicking and screaming. I misunderstood and dismissed your frustration as just another immature tantrum, reflecting a loathsome aspect of myself. Instead of seeing it as a cry for help I not only ignored you; I actually punished you further by shutting you up and invalidating you yet again. I am so sorry.

Now on Sukkot, I realize the superficial impermanence of our man-made structures. As we move out of the static walls into small, makeshift Sukkah, I understand what you truly cherish: The inner beauty of a simple home – simple and plain, but one that is filled with an inner glow and comes alive as our family sings into the night.

This is what you wanted all along: A warm cozy Sukkah, rather than a numb fortress. So now, I want to invite you into the embrace of our Sukkah. Let us enter this portable hut and bask in its protective “clouds of glory,” cradled by the Divine wings that spread from above as we sit in the Sukkah of the “shadow of faith.”

You always beckoned me, in silence or in sound, to reintegrate you into my life. I refused you, thinking that I was smart enough to know what to do. You told me that you sought integrity; you craved someone pure to love. Instead, I was seduced by externals – by glamour, status, money and the opinions of others. Truth be told, I had no clue you existed, even as you sent me daily signals that took the shape of distrust – of myself and of others, self-loathing, unhealthy relationships, fabricated intimacies. I have been living a fragmented life in order to survive; compartmentalizing in order to function. Ignoring the deepest voices from within, the need for the simple life, loving and being loved, without all the concocted smokescreens camouflaging what really matters.

Now on Sukkot, when we take and bind the four species as one, I want to rebind myself with all of you, with all your parts – regardless whether they have a taste or smell, one or the other, both or neither.

I have had enough splinters in my life. Now I want to just rest my head, and allow you to rest your head, in peace, both of us as one.

Yes, my dear child, I have missed you, perhaps more than you have missed me.

I do love you. I truly do. All of you. I want you in my life, and hope that you want me in yours.

I will do my adult part. I will create a beautiful hearth for you. Always know that you are wanted and needed. Always know that you have a safe and secure place in my home, in my life – in my heart and soul.

Please give me a chance to prove myself. I will use all my powers to always protect you.

On this Sukkot come sit beside me in our warm and comfortable cloud. Allow my Sukkah to hug and embrace you. Allow the four species to integrate you. We will sing together, maybe dance a bit, and reacquaint.

It’s about time.

Oh, how I’ve missed you.

With the deepest love,


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16 years ago

Its a beautiful letter.

In the spirit of what you wrote, it occurred to me, during Yom Kippur, that while we are so busy asking for forgiveness from God and from others, we are omitting the most fundamental relation-ship that we have. We must ask for forgiveness from ourselves. There is no transgression that we commit that doesnt do violence to our inner harmony.

16 years ago

Beautifully written.

I can only dream of having parents that would speak to me o so

Thank You.

16 years ago

This is a letter from me to me. And Oh! how Ive needed it! When I lose my way again–and I will–I will have this letter From: Me, To: Me to show me that Im not lost. Thank you.

R. D.
16 years ago

Dear Rabbi Jacobson,
Even though I am BH on good terms with all my children, I found this incredibly moving. I forwarded it to many people. Thank you for writing it. It is beautiful and has a profound lesson for all parents.

13 years ago

Given the choice of rich or poor , 99.99 % pick rich. It matters little who you are.

13 years ago

I loved it, it touched me and is what I seek.

13 years ago

Such a beautifully written article, and one that tugged at me heartstrings. I am suffering due to lack of contact with my son, who has chosem, for reasons unknow, to ignore us, his parents. Were only used as the proverbial money tree, and even then communication is basic, if at all. We have a grandson bh, who we havent physically seen for 18 months, and no photos since July, because we are being punished for reasons we know not. I have tried desperately hard to make shalom to no avail, so perhaps you can, in your wisdom, proffer some advice. Thanksing you in advance and Chag Sameach

Leah Weintraub
13 years ago

Rabbi Jacobson, this is an eternal gift that you give to all children. All of us. A gift from Hashem. Thank you.

Sally Dietz
13 years ago

Thank you for sharing your wisdom…your voice sounds like the wisdom of Angels speaking to our souls. Only G-d knows these words that you express so deeply on the level of our souls. My inner child has been in hiding my whole life and now feels your friendship through your beautiful words.

13 years ago

a lovely letter a bit confusing… a good message… a suggestion about writing style… use more identifiers… at times who is talking to who? but I got the general message LOL… its a good one and one to remember for LIFE! Hag Semeyach!

Yulia Parnossah
13 years ago

Thank you for this beautiful letter, it brought tears to my eyes, touched my heart, and filled my soul with warmth. May G-d bless you forevermore!

13 years ago

While reading this letter of love and amends I imagined it from The Divine One bh to me, and to all of Am Yisrael. And I take great comfort in The Wisdom of a mutual relationship of need and loss and love and hope. Remembering that G!d is fragmented,and The Source of All is longs for re-Unification, the Source of my/our same yea from whence our longing to be Whole and with Love will one day be Unified.

13 years ago

While reading this letter of love and amends I imagined it from The Divine One bh to me, and to all of Am Yisrael. And I take great comfort in The Wisdom of a mutual relationship of need and loss and love and hope. Remembering that G!d is fragmented,and The Source of All is yearns for re-Unification, the Source of my/our same yearning to be Whole once again.

Thank you for bringing this message to me, R. Simon. May we Love with all our heart, soul and might that moment by moment all is restored to One.

11 years ago

I did enjoy your article and certainly was not confused by who was talking to whom. I realized that G-d in His infinite wisdom makes demands of us and the last 10 days have been quite a challenge. What I did notice was my own memories, my own past. Here I am in the full embrace of the 6th decade of my life and I remember my mother, my father, my Bubbie and my siblings two of whom are no longer walking the earth. I am aware of this small child who is yearning for some nurturing, some love. My wife for almost 40 years seems unreachable (maybe my own interpretation and I am responsible for this). Being embraced by my mother and my Bubbie and sensing their collective warmth gives me a respite in my memories. I know that my own adult children know how much I love them and I know that my grandchildren know that I love them as well. But what of me: who loves me in the physical sense? who can caress me as I lay my head on the breast of my comforter? I ask rhetorically and I realize that I the adult needs to caress the little boy inside of my soul. I also realized that G-d is prepared to offer me His strength, His wisdom and His affection as I move forward. My life is still fill with opportunities and possibilities and as I move forward, I realized that I am surrounded by Hashems kindness.

My Dearest Child
11 years ago

I read this and tears came. My pure soul (my inner child)…which only wants to be loved, and love…bless you.

Yvette Cantori
11 years ago

Your letter came like the message of G-D to me. I grew up without for years I have been feeling the disconnection of this part of me. This yom kippur it was the revelation and opening up to that part that I let it alone and had all kind of believe not enough good looking outside and not listening to sign of G-D. I ask myself forginess inegrating my inner child so finding my inner I can be a healing presence in this world.
Thank you may G-D bless you .

11 years ago

My Soul Replies – What a wonderful Letter You Write to Me.
I read this beautiful letter as a metaphorical letter from myself to my soul.
My soul – which I have neglected so much and so sadly – as I only now realize from your beautiful letter that you have written on my behalf to my soul.
I know that my soul waits for me, if only I reach out to it.
And I thank you very much, Rabbi Jacobson, for so often helping me in the path to re-find my soul.

ethel sarah
11 years ago

child? what child

5 years ago

Thank you Rabbi! You ARE a blessing! I appreciate SO MUCH of what you do. Thank you!

5 years ago

Thank you for t is letter. It served as a twofold.
A letter from God to me as well as me to myself.
This letter confirmed everything that I experienced on Yom Kiippur.
What a magnificent Blessing for us!

Rachel Lady Durand
9 months ago

wow thank you for this, its so beautiful

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