Monday, October 5, 2009

Chag Sukkot Sameach! Happy Sukkot!

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the temple....

We have another holiday right around the corner! Welcome to the festive holiday of Sukkot. During Sukkot, Jews build booths, or huts, called Sukkot (singular = Sukkah). We are commanded to dwell in them during the seven days of the festival (please note that Conservative and Orthodox Jews observe eight days of the festival). If the weather is good, we are encouraged to sleep, eat, study, and do all of our general, daily activities in the Sukkah.

The Sukkot remind us of our days when we were farmers, and we would have to dwell in temporary shelters along our fields at night. These huts keep us closer to the earth and the heavens above. The roof, covered by branches and leaves, is left open to the sky so that we can see the moon and stars at night.

During this festival, we shake a lulav and an etrog - made up of four species of plants that grow in Israel: Citron, Myrtle, Willow, and Palm. We shake the lulav and the etrog in E, S, W, N and up and down, symbolizing that God is all around us.

This harvest festival is a wonderful way to reconnect with the the beautiful, natural world around us. We watch the leaves starting to change colors, the weather is growing colder, and we are getting ready to hibernate for the winter. But, our tradition helps us spend time outside, out in the world, breathing the fresh air and watching the beauty around us.

Chag Sameach - Happy Holidays!!

2 comments:

Lindsay said...

I love sukkot!!!

coopernicus said...

So many holidays in the fall!! Excellent...