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Succoth, 5694

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The bearded ancient and his wife have been hustled from their home, pictured in flames on the right of this drawing by David Rose.

They are in the wilderness. The remnant of their belongings is the Succoth shack, symbolic of the faith to which they eternally hold. Within, candles are burning in evidence of their devotion.

Whither shall they go? They are homeless, bereft of family and friends, thus symbolizing, in their circumstances, the state of Jewry in Central Europe. Mr. Rose sees this Succoth 5694 in terms of its meaning for the dispersed Jews in the year of the Hitler terror.

The Feast of Tabernacles, celebrated by Jews the world over, beginning October 5, originally designated a day of thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. It was a tribute to nature. On each of the seven days of the holiday sacrifices were offered to reconcile nations of the world to God. The sacrifices of the last day, known as Simchath Torah, commemorating the completion of the reading of the law, were a tribute to the Jews themselves. The change in their fortunes resulted in a change of the Succoth celebration. The Diaspora, or dispersion, equivalent to the universal quantum of Jewish history, is visualized in the construction of booths on Succoth—a commemoration of the residence of Jews in the wilderness forty years. The modern language of the holiday is joyous, or would be, if this were not a world steeped in anti-Semitism.

The candles in Mr. Rose’s cartoon are burning brightly.

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