Hoshanna Rabba is today, 4 October, the seventh day of the festival of Sukkot. It is written that “…on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, “From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.”’”
The themes of life and our interaction with material pleasure presented by Kohelet seem out of place for the joyous holiday of Sukkot. The opening segment of the book leads us to the conclusion that life is entirely pointless. How can we reconcile that with the commandment to celebrate with joy and gladness?
Just moments after HaShem has held us, forgiven us, and renewed us, he places us outside and subject to the elements, making the week of our joy also the week of our testing. We place ourselves outside of our own comfort, joining our brothers and sisters, exposed to our vulnerabilities and ourselves.
If John the Immerser was “the Elijah who is to come” (Matthew 11:14), is it not reasonable to assume that his birth took place at the “appointed time” of Passover? And if John the Immerser was born on Passover, then the Master should have been born six months later at the onset of the Festival of Sukkot.