Sukkot | פנים


Sukkot begins on the 15 th of Tishrei and is celebrated for 7 days. The holiday commemorates

the booths in which the Children of Israel dwelled during their wandering in the wilderness

following the exodus from Egypt. Sukkot is also a holiday with agricultural significance,

marking the culmination of the harvest season, during which the last produce is gathered

from the fields and orchards. For this reason, the holiday is also known as 'The Festival of the

Ingathering'. Sukkot booths built in the courtyards and on house balconies are used

throughout the holiday to eat meals and even for sleeping. On Sukkot, which falls at the

beginning of the fall season, we leave the permanent dwelling of our house and move to a

temporary abode, exposed to the rain and wind, thereby learning to appreciate the comfort

of our regular home. One of the holiday's central mitzvot is the taking of the 4 species –

etrog, lulav, myrtle and willow – on which we recite a blessing each day. Another mitzvah is

that of 'hakhel' that in its original biblical form occurred every seven years when on the

Sukkot at the conclusion of the shmitta (sabbatical year) the entire people would gather to

hear the reading of the Torah. This custom has been renewed in recent years by Israeli

Judaism organizations and takes place every year as Israel's largest festival of Israeli-Jewish

culture study.

Another biblical holiday – 'Shmini Atzeret' takes place upon conclusion of the seven days of

Sukkot. Sages subsequently added 'Simchat Torah' to this holiday, determining that it would

mark the day upon which the annual cycle of reading of the Torah would finish and

immediately begin anew. In honor of this occasion, the holiday is celebrated by dancing with

the Torah scrolls, encompassing the synagogue seven times. Children participate in the

celebrations with flags and sweets.

בית תפילה ישראלי

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