Sukkot (Hebrew: סוכות or סֻכּוֹת, sukkōt, or sukkos, Feast of Booths, Feast of Tabernacles) is a Biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei (late September to late October). It is one of the three biblically mandated festivals Shalosh regalim on which Jews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.
“So that your generations may know that I made the Children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt” (Leviticus 23:43)
The Mishna, the collection of Jewish laws and traditions compiled about 200 C.E., preserves Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Eliezer’s different interpretations of this verse. Rabbi Akiva understood the booths as actual shelters built by the Children of Israel. Rabbi Eliezer argued that the sukkot actually referred to the clouds of glory that surrounded the newborn nation, protecting them from desert dangers. (T.B. Sukkot 11b)
Sukkot celebrates the powerful response God had to the Children of Israel’s faith. They followed God out into the burning hot, frightfully cold desert certain that God would watch over them. In doing so, this band of newly freed slaves laid the foundation of faith through hard times an example Jews have clung to throughout their tumultuous history.
October 9 – 10, 2014.