These days we have been celebrating how we are honoured to have the Highest of the highest among us. Since October 9 we commemorated Elohim‘s provision in our lives and the redemption of His creation.
Over the past week, we were reminded that God desires to guide and intimately dwell with us, even as He did with His people in the wilderness. Much too often, people forget how the Adonai had His protective Hand over enosh. So many times He had to come to help those poor people, who felt they were abandoned, on their own in peril, or looking for a way out of certain less pleasant situations.
In Jerusalem City Hall there may be the largest sukkah in the world, but God does not look for the biggest hut. From October 10 through October 16, from 10:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. every day, and from 9 p.m. on Saturday night and until 3 p.m. on Friday of Sukkot there are musical performances, plays, kids’ activities and workshops.
Nothing of such great festival atmosphere here in Belgium, where we also not see such a huge gathering as we could see yesterday afternoon at the EuroNews channel, the square in front of the Wailing Wall completely packed with praying people. Here no kotel, but well intense praying.
Judaism uses live action, such as shaking the lulav, or smelling the etrog, as well as site-specific installations — such as a sukkah — to explore our relationship with deep strands of tradition, connecting with their physical, as well as symbolic, cultural, or metaphysical dimensions.
Also, here in our humid country, the sukkah is a reminder that we live in nature, exposed to the universe and the elements; if it is cold or rains, we can get cold and wet. Our human body in which we “dwell” here on earth, during our brief lifetime, is like the sukkah: a non-permanent structure, open to the stars. As we build our hut and dwell in it, we humble ourselves before the Bo’re, our Divine Creator, and though we feel the already colder air, we perceive God’s warmth.
As with many Jewish holidays, Sukkoth has dual origins — being both a historical and an agricultural festival.
Historically, it recalls presenting in mind the journey of the Bnei Yisroel (people of Israel) through the desert after the Exodus from Egypt, when the people lived in structures of an impermanent nature.
Agriculturally, the holiday celebrates the final gathering of fruit and produce of the year, and the booths built in the fields. For some protestants, this period of the harvest festival can be compared to Thanksgiving. We take time to thank Jehovah for everything He has given us the preceding year.
We are urged to share what we harvest, and to spread upon all a sukkah of peace. One of the major things we do have to share is the love of Hashem, which we may feel every day. Every day we should take up His Words and let them flow into our hearts.
Traditionally we read on the Shabbat of Sukkot the words of Kohelet (the Book Ecclesiastes) about the sun that rises and sets and how king Solomon searched in his heart how to cheer his flesh with wine, his heart yet guiding him with wisdom, and how to lay hold of folly, until he might see what it was good for the sons of men that they should do under heaven all the days of their lives. We do not have to build ourselves houses or have to great possessions of herds and flocks. We are reminded that king Solomon was great, and increased more than all who were before him in Jerusalem. The wisdom which remained with him, he had received from God. when he looked at all the works that his hands had worked, and at the labour that he had laboured to do, he realised that all was vanity and a chasing after wind, and there was no profit under the sun. (Eccl. 2:1-11) He saw that wisdom excels folly, as far as light excels darkness. (Eccl. 2:13)
Staying in that little hut, we can come to realise our own insignificance. For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool forever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. (Eccl. 2:16) In these days we are reminded that God has predestined this world to mortality and vanity, and that the man who pleases Hashem Jehovah, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy. Our duty is not to be the best or most renown of the world or to change the world, but to fear and serve the Elohim, for each man will give an account of his own life before God.
We also are reminded how our forefathers’ 40-year journey through the wilderness to the Promised Land had sometimes difficulties, being completely dependent on God and His provision. They were tested but God provided manna in the mornings, water out of a rock, and clothes and shoes that never wore out.
Through the crevices of the hut we built, come rays of light, and when the sun is gone, the darkness is there with us to remind us how the Elohim created day and night but also made the universe in good order. We too today may be tested often, but the Adonai presides over His infallible Word to be a beacon of light for us in dark as well as on brighter days.
All the knowledge or wisdom we may have, we should know, is nothing against the knowledge the Adonai gave to His chosen Nevi’im. But we may be happy that we have their words to guide us through every day of the year.
Celebrated for seven days with a sacred assembly on the eighth day, we look forward to the 14th and 15th of October when we shall have special Oneg (time of refreshment) in the ecclesia sukkah, people coming from all corners to feel united and join a time of praise and worship.
The next upcoming Shemini Atzeret (“Eighth Day of the Solemn Assembly”) starts on sundown of October 16 ending at sundown on Monday October 17th, 2022.
Traditionally this day was important as it relates to water and rainfall for the upcoming year and the overall effect on the crops. Many will say a prayer for good rainfall to come. But most important is that day our confession to God and showing our love for Him.
On the last day of Sukkoth, the 23rd of Tishri we celebrate Simchat Torah, starting on sundown of Monday October 17th and ending at sundown on Tuesday October 18th, 2022, celebrating the ending of the Torah readings for the year and being pleased that we may begin the next cycle. Simchah Torah, the second day of Shemini Atzeret is characterized by utterly unbridled joy.
It is a great honour for us that we are blessed by the Word of God. The Elohim also gave each human being skills which must be put to good use. For those gifts, we show our thankfulness to the Highest, and celebrate that day with dancing and singing in the synagogue with the Torah scrolls taken out of the ark to be read to all attendees and celebrated with.
- The Bible
- Bible Word of God inspired and infallible
- Word of God
- A voice and a Word given for wisdom
- the Bible – God’s guide for life #1 Introduction
- A Book to trust #1 Background book for debate
- A Book to trust #26 Roadmap for life out of darkness
- Main verses in the Bible telling us Who God is #5 The Great Infinite, Truthful, Gracious, Merciful and Compassionate God
- Today’s thought “Man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of Jehovah” (April 24)
- Today’s thought “Inspired to a sincere and pure way of thinking” (December 15)
- News Update: Offbeat Jewish News Edition
- Feast of Tabernacles
- Jewish Holiday: Sukkot
- Happy Feast of Tabernacles! Chag Sukkot Sameach!
- The Feast of Tabernacles
- Full Moon Feelings in Eretz Yisrael
- The Inward Focus
- Sukkot — Noble Illusions
- Rest and Reflect
- The Light of Autumn
- Sukkot, aka “Judaism is better when you have children (even if your children are lazy, useless adults)”
- A List of Things I Hate
- Sukkot Reflections from Ecclesiastes – Day Three
- Sukkot Reflections from Ecclesiastes – Day Four
- For Those Who Are Grateful (just the music & felicitations)
- Wake Up & Give Thanks! (just the music & felicitations)
- Give Us Joy
- A Mitzvah for Shmini Atzeret
- Make Our Garden Grow – Shemini Atzeret 5782 / Yizkor
- Wells and Wellness
- Mo’edim: Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret (Feast of Booths and the 8th Day of Assembly) #Sukkot #SheminiAtzeret
- Watch: Mo’edim: Sukkot (Festival of Booths) and Shemini Atzeret (Eighth Day of Assembly)
- Holiday Greetings: Happy Sukkot, Chag Sukkot Sameach from Bnei Yisrael Society #2022 #Sukkot #FestivalOfBooths