The Festival of All World Nations: SUKKOTSukkot, like no other Jewish festival, celebrates the dual nature of the Jewish faith; the universality of God and the particularity of Jewish existence. The Sukkot Festival, which lasts seven days and seven nights, is starting at sundown on Monday, September 20th.
Sukkot (plural of sukkah, meaning covered huts) is celebrated to commemorate our ancestors' living under the huts they had made of sticks and leaves they could find in the desert while traveling from Egypt to the promised land.
On Rosh Hashanah, we crowned God as our king. Keeping in mind that every creature created by God is important and that God always remembers us, we listened to the sounds of Shofar experiencing it excite, inspire our feelings deep down inside us.
Then came Yom Kippur, we dwelled on our lives, relationships, our mission in life, made teshuvah and we made a resolution to make teshuva in the new year.
Now it is time to celebrate the most joyful and enthusiastic holiday of the Jewish calendar, Sukkot. The Sukkot festival is described as 'the time of our Rejoicing' and is the third of the Shalosh Regalim (the three festivals; Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot. It is full of rich symbols, signifying our relationship with God, like Arba Minim (Four Kinds), four special species of plants, sitting in the special huts full of green and leaves made especially for the festival, rejoicing and being thankful for the things God gave us.
The Arba minim - four kinds of plants represent the universality of the Sukkot Festival. They symbolize nature, rain, the cycle of seasons; things common to all humanity. Sukkah/shelter represents the particular nature of Jewish history, the experience of exile and coming home, the long journey in the desert of time.
Sukkot, like no other Jewish festival, celebrates the dual nature of the Jewish faith; the universality of God and the particularity of Jewish existence. We all need rain, we all are a part of nature, we all depend on the complex ecology of the world God created. This feature is reflected with Arba minim-the four kinds of plants. However, every nation, every civilization, and every religion is different. As Jews, we are heirs of a history, unlike any other community; small, defenseless, carrying the pain of the successive exiles, yet surviving... And this we state with the sukkah.
The Sukkot Festival, which lasts seven days and seven nights, is starting at sundown on Monday (today), September 20th.