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After the formal grandeur of the Days of Awe, comes Sukkot, possibly the most fabulous holiday on the Jewish calendar. 

Sukkot has its origins in an ancient autumnal harvest festival, and much of the imagery and ritual of the holiday revolves around rejoicing and giving thanks for the harvest. The sukkah itself represent the huts that farmers would live in during the last hectic period of harvest before the coming of the winter rains.

One of the other central rituals of sukkot is the Lulav and Etrog - the four species (palm, myrtle, willow and citron) that we bring together as a way of givening thanks for the bounty of the earth, and also of centering our hearts on the flow of divine energy. We wave the four species of plants in each of six directions - north, west, east, south, towards the heavens and towards the earth. If you want to know more about how to shake a lulav and etrog, this video can help!

According to the mystical tradition, we also welcome ushpizin, or ancestor guests, to celebrate with us. Some people invite the biblical patriarchs, some invite the biblical matriarchs, and some invite other guests altogether.

Also central to the holiday is the book of Ecclesiasties, or Qohelet, as its know in Hebrew.   Qohelet teaches that we are ephemeral, like the sukkah itself and the lulav and etrog which we shake inside of it, and asks us to consider what we do with the time we have. You can study the book of Ecclesiastes here, it's actually my favorite book of the Bible.

If you want to know more about sukkot, this is a great place to start learning.

Come join us in the sukkah at BHA in the side yard for these events.


Sun, May 26 2024 18 Iyyar 5784