I just watched G-d Cast's wonderful Sukkot video (below) and now have a new understanding of Sukkot.
The video is about King Solomon's Ecclesiastes, which is read during Sukkot. Starting with the downer of, "all is vanity," Solomon writes of all the things he's "had" in life: riches, knowledge, and achievement. He finds them useless and meaningless because he's gonna die, just like any fool, and leave it all behind to some shmo who outlives him.
In the end, Solomon finds meaning because he believes all is from G-d and tells us to "Fear G-d."
No matter his conclusion, it's his pathway that fascinates me. It's his understanding of mortality that motivates Solomon's struggle to find meaning. "The wise man has eyes in his head, while the fool walks in the darkness; but... the same fate overtakes them both."
All of us are challenged to find meaning in the face of mortality.
Sometimes the losses we experience, which make us re-evaluate our lives and search for meaning, end up being blessings. Or let me say that differently: it is up to us to find the meaning in the losses we experience.
For Sukkot we build our hut, rejoice in it, and then tear it down. As is life.