Qohelet (Ecclesiastes) and Sukkot: The Traditional Reading during this Joyous Time

The wisdom of the Sages is displayed yet again in the tradition of reading Qohelet (Ecclesiastes) during the Festival of Sukkot. But it is not readily apparent why Qohelet was chosen for a festival that has rejoicing as its main theme! Many who read Qohelet are left with the impression that the words of Shlomo (Solomon) are depressing rather than uplifting, and do not fit the theme of joy. Yet a closer reading of the book reveals just the opposite. In fact, the theme of the book is joy, but the surprise is where this joy is actually found.