"Walk out till you're at least knee-deep in the water, then just sit down as if you're falling into an easy chair." It seemed impossible, but as I fell back into the water, the Dead Sea gently caught me and I floated like I was on a space walk with no gravity.
With the Festival of Sukkot, we mark a transition. The great gift that Judaism holds out to us it to be mindful of the phases of our lives, so that we don't rush through it, thoughtlessly, but we take a moment to step out of the rat race.
Nicodemus's night visit to Jesus is not exactly empathic, but there is an intimacy to the setting. It is a tête-à-tête: Not a Sermon on the Mount, not a raising of Lazarus, but a private conversation between people who have studied God.
By blessing God 100 times daily, we are connecting in the deepest way. Mindfulness of our actions makes us more aware of the Divine. It also serves to prevail over the forces of negativity, by attaching ourselves more closely with Hashem (God).
The old king, David, is dead. It is time to pick his successor as king. In retrospect it seems obvious that his son, Solomon, was his rightful heir. In the moment, however, the matter of succession to the throne is highly contested.