923 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37403

Sukkot: Get Outside! – September 29, 2023

Kohelet 12:12

וְיֹתֵ֥ר מֵהֵ֖מָּה בְּנִ֣י הִזָּהֵ֑ר עֲשׂ֨וֹת סְפָרִ֤ים הַרְבֵּה֙ אֵ֣ין קֵ֔ץ וְלַ֥הַג הַרְבֵּ֖ה יְגִעַ֥ת בָּשָֽׂר׃

A further word: Against them, my child, be warned! The making of many books is without limit. And much study is a wearying of the flesh.

Many are the reasons that we read the book of Kohelet on Sukkot. Ironically, this verse comes at the end of the book. “Stop studying!” says Kohelet. That’s enough reading. Of books, there are no limits. Of studying scrolls, there is no end. But wait a second – we rely on books to learn. Libraries from antiquity to today are storehouses of the wisdom of the ages. Without books, how do we seek wisdom?

Kohelet’s answer comes right at the beginning of the book. “I set my mind to study and probe with wisdom all that happens under the sun,” he says. Take a close look at the world around us, probe it, observe it, and take in its truth. There is much that we miss when our head is in a book. Sukkot is the holiday that we celebrate the idea expressed best by Mark Twain, “I never let my schooling get in the way of my education.”

Does that mean we should not read and study? Of course not. But we should not let that keep us from discovering the wisdom that is found outside the walls of the study hall. It’s for this reason that for eight days we live in a sukkah. This is the holiday that forces us to get outside, and learn something.

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Office Hours

B’nai Zion Congregation
923 McCallie Avenue
Chattanooga, TN 37403
(enter parking lot from Oak Street)

Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Thursday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
Friday: 10:00am – 3:00pm

Please call ahead to confirm someone will be in the office when you arrive!


Rabbi Samuel Rotenberg: rabbirotenberg@bzcongregation.com

Autumn Clark, Office Manager: office@bzcongregation.com

Phone: 423.894.8900

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Weekly Services

Wednesday Minyan

Friday Kabbalat Shabbat

Shabbat Morning
9:45 am

See our Worship & Events page for all up to date services!