|Shalom Peter,Chag Sameach! Happy Sukkot!
The holidays continue, this time with a seven day (eight outside of Israel) celebration that takes us literally out of our comfort zones, but not too far, considering most people with build a sukkah (booth) in their backyard or on their balcony. It’s a colorful and boisterous celebration, a welcome follow-up from the solemnity of the Day of Atonement.
Why do we build booths and celebrate in them?
Biblically, the command to celebrate in booths came from Leviticus, when God told Moses to tell the people, „On the first day you shall take the product of hadar trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook” (Lev. 23:40), and „You shall live in booths seven days; all citizens in Israel shall live in booths, in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite people live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt” (Lev. 23:42-43).
When in the sukkah we often share a meal with family and friends. The rules for building a sukkah are few; it can be made of any kind of material and the roof needs to be made of palm fronds, closed enough to shelter but open enough to see the evening stars. We also hold a citron together with the lulav (a closed palm frond bound with willow and myrtle branches) and recite a blessing over the species, reminding us that this is another harvest festival in which to be thankful for our bounty.
Sukkot is such a joyous holiday which encourages family, togetherness and peace. Learn more about this holiday’s customs and history by watching our special “„What is Sukkot?” video.
As always, we invite you to come join our Biblical Hebrew courses, to get a full picture of Israel, it’s people and its rich history.
Chag Sukkot Sameach!