b'JEWISH CALENDAR COMPANIONThe Water Gate in Jerusalem, where the people heard the command to celebrate Succot.Moses in connection with Succot, and you will be truly joyful (Deut. 16:1415). So it seemed natural to call these days zeman simchateinu, our time of rejoicing.Joy is at the heart of Judaism. Serve the Lord with joy, said the Psalm (100:2), come before Him with jubilation. Israel would come to know more than its share of sufferings, defeats, destructions and exiles. Yet what sustained it was not sadness but gladness, a deep religious joy. In the last month of his life, Moses had warned the people not to take the land, its freedoms or its produce for granted, nor to forget their origins. The land was not theirs but Gods, and therefore the right way to celebrate it was by gratitude. Bad things would happen, he warned, if people ever lost their capacity for joy. Curses would strike the nation, because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart out of the abundance of all good things (Deut. 28:47).The one defence against national entropy would be joy itself, a combination of thanksgiving, humility, gratitude and memories of the suffering that had to be endured in the course of arriving at this place and this estate. Judaism is not a religion of austerity, self-denial and stoic endurance. It is not a faith that allowed itself to be overwhelmed by tragedy. Time and again it arose, phoenix-like, from catastrophe, demoralisation and defeat, and each time renewed itself, gathering ever-greater strength in the process.True faith, in Judaism, is marked by the capacity for joy.5'