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Sukkot




Sukkot is a Jewish holiday that recalls the ancient Israelites’ 40-year journey through the desert after they fled Egypt, and the huts farmers built when they brought in the harvest. It is also known as the "Feast of Tabernacles."

Orthodox Jews around the world celebrate the festival, which is observed for seven day starting on 15 Tishrei and concluding on 21 Tishrei. 

Sukkahs

Sukkahs are temporary structures that Jews are commanded to dwell in during the holiday.
Sitting in a sukkah is a mitzvah, a commandment.

The practice of building them goes back more than 2,000 years and Jews construct them based on local conditions. Jews living in Islamic countries often use colorful lightweight fabrics for their sukkah walls but, out of respect for Islamic law, display no images of people or animals. In Western countries, sukkahs are usually constructed of wood with retractable roofs to keep out the cold and rain and decorate them with scenes from the Bible.

According to the Torah, the roof of a sukkah must be made of branches, wood, reeds or leaves, materials that grew in the ground. In Israel, palm fronds are often used. The sukkah cannot be built under trees or anything else that obstructs the sky.

In Israel, celebrations of Sukkat are so ubiquitous that almost every kosher Israeli restaurant and Jewish-owned mall constructs a sukkah for its customers. Hundreds of thousands of families erect easy-to-build lightweight sukkahs that are sold in local stores. Some prefer wooden sukkahs and sleep in them during the entire holiday.

Inside, traditional foods such as pomegranates and honey cake are served on folding tables under battery-operated lights.

Lulav and Etrog

Four plants mentioned in the Torah (Leviticus 23:40) are especially relevant to Sukkot: etrog (אתרוג) – the fruit of a citron tree; lulav (לולב) – a ripe, green, closed frond from a date palm tree; hadass (הדס) – boughs with leaves from the myrtle tree; aravah (ערבה) – branches with leaves from the willow tree.

Some Jews build their Sukkot out of branches from the four specified plants, while Rabbinic Jews take three types of branches and one type of fruit which are held together and waved in a special ceremony during the holiday. The waving of the four plants is a mitzvah prescribed by the Torah, and contains symbolic allusions to a Jew's service of God.

Each day of Sukkot (excluding the Sabbath), the Four Species lulav and etrog are set three times in each of six directions immediately after reciting a blessing.





Sukkah


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