Sukkot and overcoming our Timidity

Posted by Chanoch Ne’eman 18 of Tishri 5775 Jerusalem

Timidity. The Final Frontier. Most of my failures I believe are due to too much timidity. But Sukkot, it seems, is helpful in helping us break out. Out of your house, and into the sukka. Sleeping in the sukka helps even more. It is like the boy scouts or Outward Bound. Sleeping in my sukka the other night, with one side open, and in the courtyard of our building, a few steps up from the street, and a busy intersection, helped me feel less timid.

Today, Shabbos, I was walking home motzei shabbos down Rachel Imenu St. A woman was on the other side of the street walking up, in the shadows of the big trees there. I smiled, as is my custom, though I could not really see her. Suddenly I hear in Hebrew, “Excuse me…”. “Yes?” I say, as she starts to cross the street towards me. “About how old are you?” she asks. “Forty-four”, I answer. “Married?” “No” “What is your name?” “Chanoch” “Chanoch what?” I smile. I am admiring her initiative. I have often thought of doing this myself. “Chanoch Ne’eman”. Silence. Eye Contact. “Why do you ask?” I say. Then she lost her nerve. “I was just asking” she excuses herself, as she turns to walk away. She probably thought I would not be interested because I was younger than her or something. I have been timid in situations like that too. But she tried! Hurray for Sukkot anti-timidity!

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