Is Sukkot a Universal Holiday?

Sukkot is one of the three pilgrimage holidays of the Jewish faith.

  1. Passover – commemorating the Israelites’ escape from bondage in Egypt;
  2. Shavuot – commemorating the receiving of the Commandments; and
  3. Sukkot – the 7 day Feast to the Creator, on the 15th of the 7th month, when you have gathered the fruit of the land.

We are commanded to take the etrog, the palm, myrtle, and willow and combine them to pray and rejoice outdoors in small booths (sukkot). The booths are temporary shelters that remind us of how close G-d is to us and how connected we are to the land and it’s produce which is G-d’s gift to the world.

The four species represent the world’s agriculture which is universal. The sukkah represents the Jewish People’s unique and particular national history.

The prayers during Sukkot relate to water – a fundamental necessity of life and crops.

We utilize specific prayers asking G-d to continue to sustain us with generous rainfall and economic security over the coming year. Rabbinic tradition teaches that G-d allocates the world’s supply of water for the coming year on Sukkot.

Part of the mitzvah (commandment) of sukkah is to teach our children the lessons of love of G-d and faith in G-d. The Jew leaves the comfort of home and turns to a little hut, a makeshift dwelling, to eat and to sometimes sleep. This ritual reminds us of the temporary nature of our existence and keeps us aware spiritually. We are refocused on the trust necessary to a relationship with our Creator. We trusted as Israelites once traveling through the desert of Sinai; and we must return to trust our Creator as we travel through life feeling G-d’s nearness.

The word for rain in Hebrew is “geshem”. The source of rain, is G-d himself which is represented by the Clouds of Glory that protected and sustained us in our early history as a nation. We leave our homes, a physical anchor of our lives. We enter a home under the clouds, protected by our trust in G-d. The physical and the spiritual are connected. We sit/live in the sukkah – with G-d. We made an unconditional commitment at Sinai when we chose to keep the commandment L’Dor v’ Dor : from generation to generation. We renew our commitment each Shabbat and holiday.

Come sit in the sukkah with Congregation Beit Shalom. Learn the prayers, sing the songs, wave the Lulav. On Friday, Oct 6th at 7 pm. We are having a spaghetti dinner. $10 adults/$5 children. 115 E. Paseo Ave. Visalia RSVP 559/308-1333


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