Sukkot – A Time for Rejoicing & Remembering
Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles, is a holiday of celebration as we remember God’s protection of His people while they were in the desert prior to entering the Promised Land. God in his mercy provided a cloud of glory to protect and cover the Israelites in the desert. For this holiday we build a booth or sukkoth, referring to a temporary dwelling reminiscent of the tents the Jews lived in during their wilderness time.
“‘So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the Lord for seven days; the first day is a day of sabbath rest, and the eighth day also is a day of sabbath rest. On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. Celebrate this as a festival to the Lord for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. Live in temporary shelters for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in such shelters so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.’” (Leviticus 23:43)
What a great opportunity to remember there is nothing in life that is completely sure, but God!! Take a moment and watch this short video from Rabbi Tzvi Sytner.
This is a wonderful holiday for your children to get involved in.
We don’t build our sukkoth. In the past, we have used a pop-up tent structure that the kids have decorated.
The table is set with Autumn decorations and the food we share reminds us of the harvest; things like soup and stuffed squash are just perfect for the occasion!
And finally, after dinner has been shared under the sukkoth… We get our DANCE on!!
I have two favorite things to remember on Sukkot. First, is remembering that in history huge candelabras were constructed to light the city during the festival. Light is important, a necessity in celebrating Sukkot. I want to focus on the light in the sukkoth as it reminds me that Jesus is the Light of the World.
Secondly, water was an important part of the Feast of Tabernacles. In history the rabbis would teach the passages of Scripture about water and then pour out water over the alter signifying Israel’s gratitude for rain that produced the harvest all the while reciting Isaiah 12:1-3.
In that day you will say:
“I will praise you, Lord.
Although you were angry with me,
your anger has turned away
and you have comforted me.
Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water
from the wells of salvation.
I remember, Jesus is the living water and He has washed away my sins! Now, that is something to celebrate!!!