Sukkot

Sukkot

Admin
March 22, 2024 / 5 mins read

Sukkot is an autumn holiday that comes shortly after Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. On Sukkot, we celebrate how the Israelites were protected in the desert as they travelled from Egypt to the land of Israel. Tradition teaches that the Israelites were divinely protected and all their physical needs (clothes, food, shelter and safety) were taken care of for them. In honour of the Israelites living in the desert, many Jews built a temporary, hut-like structure called a sukkah (sukkot plural) outside their homes. People enjoy eating their meals and spending time in it. Many decorate the sukkah and some even sleep in it. The sukkah structure must be temporary in nature and have a roof made of all-natural materials.

CUSTOMS

LULAV AND ETROG

Sukkot is also an agricultural holiday celebrating the end of the harvest season. One way to celebrate the change in season is shaking the lulav and etrog. The lulav is a bundle of three branches – the willow, palm and myrtle. The etrog is a lemon-like yellow citrus fruit. Together, these four plants are shaken around oneself and a blessing is recited in celebration of the bounty of the land, as well as a symbolic representation of the unity of all different types of Jewish people.

HOSPITALITY

One important value is inviting guests into our spaces. On Sukkot, some “invite” historical guests to be present though a blessing to remember patriarchs and matriarchs from the Bible. Many enjoy inviting friends and family for a shared meal in the sukkah. As we exit the comforts of our home on Sukkot, this holiday is also a time to reflect on the vulnerable populations in our own community, such as immigrants and those experiencing homelessness. Sukkot is a good opportunity to donate to organizations supporting these individuals.

ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES

  • Come Visit The J’s Sukkah to see what a sukkah looks like!
  • Candy Sukkah Make your own mini sukkah using graham crackers, frosting or fluff, candy and pretzel sticks.
  • Etrog Potpourri Etrogs are grown with many pesticides, so it is not recommended to eat your etrog after the holiday. Instead, poke holes in the etrog using a toothpick and stick cloves into the holes. After it dries out, use it as potpourri or besamim (spices) at havdalah (the ceremony marking the close of Shabbat). If you don’t have an etrog, you can use a lemon or orange instead.
  • Paint a Mini Pumpkin Using weatherproof paint, paint a mini pumpkin or gourd to display in your sukkah or outside your home. Jewish