Feast of Tabernacles ~ Sukkot

The Lulav and Etrog~picture from Amazon.com!

The Feast of Tabernacles begins on the 15th day of the seventh month, Tishrei. This year, that day falls at sundown on Sunday night, October 13. This holiday is mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments.  Beginning in Leviticus 23:33, we read about the holiday and how to observe it.  I encourage you to read it. This is a very important holiday which emphasizes our dependence upon G-d. For example, in the wilderness, the Israelites’ shoes and clothing did not wear out, they were given manna to eat, and were provided water by G-d.

Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, is also mentioned in the New Testament.  Beginning in John 7:2, we read about Yeshua going up to Jerusalem for the Feast.  Even though the leaders are wanting to put Him to death, He still makes the journey, following the Torah.  Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot are the 3 holidays in which one must make the trip to Jerusalem.

We celebrate Sukkot by dwelling in a temporary, foliage-covered booth (known as a sukkah) and by taking the “Four Kinds” (arba minim), four special species of vegetation (palm branch, willow, myrtle and etrog) pictured above.

There are various rabbinical laws related to the temporary booth, including that it must have at least 3 walls, and one must be able to see the stars through the thatched (palm branch) roof.

A sukkah being built today. Photo courtesy of Tovah Korman.

Every day of Sukkot we say Hallel, a collection of psalms of praise (Psalms 113-118) as part of the morning prayer service. Every day, aside from Shabbat, we recite Hallel while holding the Four Kinds, waving them in all directions at certain key points in the service, which are outlined in the siddur (prayerbook).

This is an excellent (and fun) opportunity to teach about the provision of G-d.

1 thought on “Feast of Tabernacles ~ Sukkot”

  1. This year I am really connecting Sukkot with America’s Thanksgiving, thanking God for all his abundant blessings. We are using paper plates and plastic silverware to help remember our journey here is temporary!

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