Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Third Fall Feast :: Sukkot

I can't believe the third feast is here already.  The time has gone so quickly... I feel like time marches on faster than my brain and schedule can keep up.  But, whether we are ready or not... It's here!

The third fall feast in the countdown is Sukkot, or The Feast of Tabernacles.

The word Sukkot means 'booths'.  It is a seven day feast that reminds us of the provisions that God gave the Israelites when they were wandering in the wilderness for 40 years.  God provided booths (shelters) as well as fed them, gave them water and clothed them.

This feast is celebrated in a most unusual way.  'Booths' are built outside to remind us of the temporary dwellings that they had in the wilderness.  Some actually live in these booths for the whole 7 days, but most just eat their meals in them enjoying fellowship with others.

The feast also coincides with the fall harvest.  This time of year overflows with the bounty of the fields and orchards.  Those same fruits are taken to decorate the booths, along with other decorations.

The word for the booth is a Sukkah.  They are decorated and can be modest or elaborate.  They are usually outside, but some choose to build them inside.  I have seen some amazing photos of Sukkahs on Pinterest.  I thought I would share a few with you so you would know what I was talking about.  I will put the link under each picture if you desire to learn more.  I will start with the Taj Mahal of Sukkahs.

Amazing aren't they?  I have to tell you that until a few months ago I had no idea people did this.  No idea at all.  I didn't know about the feasts or their significance.

So, why would we want to go through all of this trouble?  This looks like a lot of work.  I have to admit, that we didn't do one this year, either.  We are still trying to wrap our minds around all of it.

But, as we have been learning, I can see how it would be a wonderful time of reconnecting with the One who gives us all we have.

A time of remembrance of what God has done, an acknowledgment of what he is doing in our lives right now, and the blessings and provisions He said He would provide.

Another thing they do during Sukkot is wave a Lulav.

"The lulav is a single palm branch and occupies the central position in the grouping. It comes with a holder-like contraption (made from its own leaves) which has two extensions. With the backbone (the solid spine) of the lulav facing you and this holder in place near the bottom, two willow branches are placed in the left extension and three myrtle branches are placed in the right. The myrtle should extend to a greater height than the willows.
This whole cluster is held in the right hand, the etrog is held in the left, and the two should be touching one another. Some have the custom of picking up the etrog first and then the lulav–reversing the order when putting them down–because the etrog is referred to before the others in the biblical verse."
The actual bible verse we're looking at for the lulav is in Leviticus 23:40 and it says 

"On the first day you are to take choice fruit, palm fronds, thick branches and river-willows, and celebrate in the presence of Adonai your God for seven days.".  

Taken from My Jewish Learning

I am excited about next year because I will be a little bit more prepared... but I am so thankful for just the small bits we have done this year.  I will leave you with some links if you are interested in learning more... from people that know a lot more than I do!

Even though the fall feasts are over, there is still much to learn.  Consider following this blog either through email or social media.  I would love to hear your stories!

Chag Sukkot Sameach!

Fall Feast Countdown :: Get Ready For Next Year

The illustrations for the top picture of this post come from the fun book "The Family Treasury of Jewish Holidays"


  1. Enjoyed reading this. I understand a little more about Sukkoth.

  2. Thank you for sharing this. Until I read this, I knew very little about The Feast of Tabernacles. I had heard about it, but never really understood it until now. A really thoughtful and well prepared post.

    Thanks for sharing.

    John M

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and stopping by :)

  3. What beautiful celebrations of the Feast of Tabernacles! Our tabernacles were not quite this lovely...

    1. Aren't they amazing Susan. I had no idea people made these :) I'm sure yours was lovely!

  4. Lovely celebrations and beautiful autumn colours #LetKidsbeKids

  5. Very interesting.
    Thanks for sharing #LetKidsBeKids

  6. I enjoyed the pictures of the booths very much! Thank you for sharing this week on the Art of Home-Making Mondays :)

  7. I look forward to your posts about the feasts and learning more! We may do a pergola in our backyard next summer so that would be perfect for this and I would be prepared! Thanks for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week :)

    1. Thank you so much :) Yes, it would be perfect! I would love to see it if you get one together. We are thinking about how we would put one up, too! See you next week.

    2. Yes, definitely! That is on our summer to do list for next year. I wanted to congratulate you on being the Featured Post this week at #SocialButterflySunday! Looking forward to you linking up again this week :)