October 9-16, 2022
The seven days of Sukkot—celebrated by dwelling in the sukkah, taking the Four Kinds, and rejoicing—is the holiday when we expose ourselves to the elements in covered huts, commemorating G‑d’s sheltering our ancestors as they traveled from Egypt to the Promised Land. The Four Kinds express our unity and our belief in G‑d’s omnipresence. Coming after the solemn High Holidays, it is a time of joy and happiness.
Vayikra – Leviticus – Chapter 23
|33 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,||לגוַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶל־משֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר:|
|34 Speak to the children of Israel, saying: On the fifteenth day of this seventh month, is the Festival of Succoth, a seven day period to the Lord.||לדדַּבֵּ֛ר אֶל־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לֵאמֹ֑ר בַּֽחֲמִשָּׁ֨ה עָשָׂ֜ר י֗וֹם לַחֹ֤דֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי֙ הַזֶּ֔ה חַ֧ג הַסֻּכּ֛וֹת שִׁבְעַ֥ת יָמִ֖ים לַֽיהֹוָֽה:|
|35 On the first day, it is a holy occasion; you shall not perform any work of labor.||להבַּיּ֥וֹם הָֽרִאשׁ֖וֹן מִקְרָא־קֹ֑דֶשׁ כָּל־מְלֶ֥אכֶת עֲבֹדָ֖ה לֹ֥א תַֽעֲשֽׂוּ:|
|36 [For] a seven day period, you shall bring a fire offering to the Lord. On the eighth day, it shall be a holy occasion for you, and you shall bring a fire offering to the Lord. It is a [day of] detention. You shall not perform any work of labor.||לושִׁבְעַ֣ת יָמִ֔ים תַּקְרִ֥יבוּ אִשֶּׁ֖ה לַֽיהֹוָ֑ה בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁמִינִ֡י מִקְרָא־קֹ֩דֶשׁ֩ יִֽהְיֶ֨ה לָכֶ֜ם וְהִקְרַבְתֶּ֨ם אִשֶּׁ֤ה לַֽיהֹוָה֙ עֲצֶ֣רֶת הִ֔וא כָּל־מְלֶ֥אכֶת עֲבֹדָ֖ה לֹ֥א תַֽעֲשֽׂוּ:|
14 Sukkah Facts Every Jew Should Know
1. It’s a Shelter We Dwell in on Sukkot
The word sukkah best translates as “shelter” or “cover” and refers to the space where we spend as much time as possible during the holiday of Sukkot.
2. It Commemorates the Exodus
Scripture tells us to dwell in the sukkah so that “Your [ensuing] generations should know that I had the children of Israel live in shelters when I took them out of the land of Egypt.” What were these shelters? The Talmud tells us that they were the clouds of glory that encompassed the entire nation during their epic 40-year trek through the Sinai desert.
To read the full articel:
The Festival of the Water Libation
One of the main aspects of the holiday of Sukkot (Tabernacles) is the Biblical commandment, “And you shall be glad on your holiday, and you shall be only joyful” (Deut. 16:14). Indeed, the pilgrims who arrived in Jerusalem at the Temple’s courtyard came to rejoice. The focus of this rejoicing was the ceremony surrounding the commandment to pour water on the altar – the water libation. During this event, which mainly took place in the Women’s Court, the levites and played on many musical instruments.
The sages of Israel testify to the celebrations of the water libation from the days of the Second Temple, describing the great joy of the ceremony:
“Whoever has not seen the celebration of the water libation has never experienced the feeling of true joy – great lamps of gold were hoisted, with four golden bowls at the top of each lamp. Four young priests-in-training would climb to the top, carrying immense oil jugs with which they would fill the bowls. Once lighted, there was not a courtyard in all of Jerusalem that did not glow with the light that emanated from the celebration in the Temple courtyard.
As the people sang, the righteous and pious men would dance before them while juggling flaming torches. The levites, standing on the fifteen steps that descend from the Court of Israel to the Women’s Court, played on lyres, harps, trumpets and many other instruments. Two priests who blew silver trumpets stood at the top of the stairs on either side of the entrance to the great gate of the Court.
All this was done to honor the commandment of the water libation.”
(based on Mishna, Tractate Sukkah, Chapter 5)
To read the full article:
Vayikra – Leviticus – Chapter 23
|40 And you shall take for yourselves on the first day, the fruit of the hadar tree, date palm fronds, a branch of a braided tree, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for a seven day period.||מוּלְקַחְתֶּ֨ם לָכֶ֜ם בַּיּ֣וֹם הָֽרִאשׁ֗וֹן פְּרִ֨י עֵ֤ץ הָדָר֙ כַּפֹּ֣ת תְּמָרִ֔ים וַֽעֲנַ֥ף עֵֽץ־עָבֹ֖ת וְעַרְבֵי־נָ֑חַל וּשְׂמַחְתֶּ֗ם לִפְנֵ֛י יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֖ם שִׁבְעַ֥ת יָמִֽים:|
Las Cuatro Especies
Arba minim is a man’s obligation. For women, it’s optional but encouraged. Best place for doing this mitzvah is the sukkah, the outdoor holiday booth.
Hold the lulav in your right hand (unless you’re a lefty), with its spine facing you. Face east and say:
Bah-rookh ah-tah ah-doh-noi eh-loh-hay-noo meh-lekh hah-oh-lahm, ah-shehr ki-deh-shah-noo beh-mitz-voh-tahv veh-tzee-vah-noo ahl neh-tee-laht loo-lahv.
Blessed are You, L‑rd our G‑d, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us regarding taking the lulav.
Pick up the etrog in your left hand.
[On the first day of Sukkot (or the first time on Sukkot you get to do this), at this point say:
Bah-rookh ah-tah ah-doh-noi eh-loh-hay-noo meh-lekh hah-oh-lahm sheh-heh-kheh-yah-noo veh-kee-mah-noo ve-hig-ee-yah-noo liz-mahn hah-zeh.
Blessed are You, L‑rd our G‑d, King of the Universe, who has granted us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this occasion.]
Bring the lulav and etrog together—you’ve done the mitzvah!
Waving the Lulav and Etrog: A Pictorial Guide