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Sukkot - the holiday of joy!

When does Sukkot begin this year?

The Sukkot begins on Tishri 15, the 7th day after Yom Kippur. This year Sukkot will begin on the October 7, 2006 of the Gregorian calendar.
Remember that all Jewish holidays begin at sundown on the date before the date specified here.

Why do we celebrate Sukkot?

The word "Sukkot" means "booths," and refers to the temporary dwellings that we are commanded to live in during this holiday. Sukkot has a dual significance: historical and agricultural:

The holiday commemorates the forty-year period of the wanderings of the Jews in desert after their Exodus from the hands of the Egyptians, when they had to dwell in makeshift booths or huts. Sukkot is also a harvest festival, the Fruit Harvest when we thank G-d for giving us such a bounty produce.

What are the customs of Sukkot?

During this holiday we are commanded to dwell in temporary shelters (sukkah), as our ancestors did in the wilderness.

Another observance related to Sukkot involves what are known as The Four Species (arba minim in Hebrew) or the lulav and etrog. We are commanded to take these four plants and use them to "rejoice before the
Lord."

What is Sukkah?

SukkahSukkah is a booth built of wood and branches.
The sukkah has at least three sides and a partially open roof covered with greenery. Part of the fun of sukkot is decorating the sukkah with fruits and, in the United States, autumn vegetables like corn and squash.
Some people even put in their good furniture and carpets if the
climate permits. The commandment to "dwell" in a sukkah can be fulfilled by simply eating all of one's meals there. If the weather, climate, and one's health permit, one should live in the sukkah as much as possible, including sleeping in it for all seven days of the Sukkot.

What are the 4 species (Arbah Minim)?

The word Lulav is used as the generic term for all the 4 species.

The four species in question are an etrog (a citrus fruit native to Israel), a palm branch (in Hebrew, lulav), two willow branches (arava) and
three myrtle twigs (hadas).
The general custom is to bind the branches so that when the lulav is held with the spine of the lulav facing the holder, the hadassim are to
the holder's right and the aravot are to the holder's left. The etrog is held separately.
With these four species in hand, one recites a blessing and waves the species in all six directions (east, south, west, north, up and down, symbolizing the fact that G-d is everywhere).

 

 

 

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