This work calls upon us to imitate God in order to bring God's presence into our lives and the lives of others. On Shemini Atzeret, we think about God seeking to linger in our presence because God needs us as much as we need God.
On Sukkot we are told to leave the comfort of our sturdy homes with their strong walls, insulated windows and security systems and we are directed to live in an impermanent shelter -- where the walls may shake in the slightest breeze and roof is made of leaves and twigs.
I started doing some research because I was horrified by my own visions of screeching chickens, blood and feathers. I knew this wasn't a practice I would ever do. In my search for more information, I heard a great story.