After a wonderful Sukkot, filled with friends, family, Hallel, tiyulim,and good family time, we put away the Sukka.
I carefully stored the wooden boards and the s'chach in our store room, trying to pack it tightly to allow more room for the kids bikes and the lawnmower. I was struck by the though of how little, how very compact and tiny this structure is. Just a few boards, planks of wood, and some straw matting. That had been our home for the week! And in contrast, what a large house!
It forced me to reflect just on how much we have! How blessed we are. How materialistic we are. After all, how much does a person genuinely need? How many rooms does a person need? (For this one week, the entire family slept in the Sukka - in a single room!) We live in a world that constantly feeds us with the message that we need this and that , and that if we only had those commodities, our lives would be so happy. It's a lie! The modesty and simplicty of the sukka - although obviously temporary - are very beautiful. As Kohelet says "הכל הבל" - all the material things are quite insignificant really.
As we come in from the Sukka, these thoughts should act as a tempering counterbalance in our lives.