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Sukkot - Feast of Booths
Category: Teaching Topics

From the time of the Exodus — "Freedom" is spoken with a Hebrew accent.


"You shall dwell in booths for seven days; all who are native Israelites shall live in booths, in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite people live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I am the LORD your GOD." [Leviticus (Vayikra) 23. 42 - 43 Tanakh, Torah] 


"Sukkot" is the Hebrew word for the Festival of the Feast of Tabernacles, also known as "Chag ha-Asif (Feast of Ingathering)."  This is the Season of our Rejoicing for the TORAH commandment to rejoice is mentioned more often in connection with the holy day of Sukkot then for any other.  It is a national holiday that begins at sunset this evening memorializing the journey from the land of slavery to the Land of Promise.   Sukkot is called "zman simchateinuthe time of our joy" . . . living in the shadow of GOD'S embrace. 


This Feast emphasizes thanksgiving, celebration and a temporary dwelling place.  It commemorates the 40-years of wandering in the desert and marks the final harvest of the agricultural year.  It is the custom to dwell in Sukkah (booths, huts) decorated with various kinds of fruits and flowers.  This symbolizes the house where you and the ALMIGHTY CREATOR will dwell together. 


There are nine traditional fruits that are hung in the Sukkah, symbolizing nine characteristics and attributes of the HOLY TRUE & LIVING GOD that HE desires for us to have in our lives.  The nine fruits include pomegranates, figs, dates, oranges, apples, grapes, pumpkins, etrog (citron—similar to a lemon), and the fruit from locust tree (a chocolate-type fruit).  The nine FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT are symbolized by the nine fruits hanging in the Sukkot.  "The FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." [Galatians 5. 22 - 23]  There is a remarkable correlation between the two. 


Sukkot is indeed a time of rejoicing, following closely after Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (forgiveness, covering).  Sukkot begins on the fifteenth day of Tishri, at the time of the ingathering of the crops — a further cause for rejoicing, as one looks with a sense of humbleness knowing the LOVING MASTER, blessed be HE,  has prospered and blessed the fruits of one's labor of the previous months. 


The seven-day celebration of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles/Booths) is the last of the three pilgrimage festivals, the holy days on which the Jews were commanded to go up to Jerusalem.  A time when all Jewish males over the age of thirteen were commanded to come to Jerusalem to celebrate.  This is called "Sholosh Regolim" — the other two Feasts are Pesach (Passover) and Shavuoth (Pentecost).   Women and children joined these pilgrimages whenever possible. 


Sukkot is celebrated for 7 days.  However, the 8th day which follows is a Solemn Assembly known as "Shemini Atzeres (holding back)" — which is also a Sabbath and a complete holiday in its own right.  This speaks of the future earthly MESSIANIC KINGDOM when peace and righteousness shall rule and GOD'S people will be observing the Seventh Day Sabbath during that time they are "resting in GOD" and "GOD resting in HIS people." Then follows the new day, the New Beginning, the first day of Eternity. . . a Sabbath forever! 


Sha'alu (Pray) for the Shalom (Peace) of Jerusalem and all of Israel!  
Redeem Israel, O ELOHIYM, out of all their troubles!
"Chag Sukkot Sameyach! " — a joyous Sukkot (Festival of Booths) celebrating the ALMIGHTY ONE'S joyous seasons of life. Delight yourself by making it a life-changing experience! Praise to GOD, the LORD OF HOSTS for HE is good, HIS mercy endures forever.  May Judah be saved and Jerusalem dwell in safety!
 We were greatly blessed when the HOLY ONE brought us out of slavery from Egypt (Passover) and took HIS people directly to Mount Sinai. There HE gave us the Law (Shavuoth) to keep us free from slavery (to sin).  Then, gave us YESHUA ha' keep us free and give us true peace and rest (Sukkoth/Booths).
 We are creatures of comfort. We have to push ourselves to move beyond our physical needs and desires. It isn’t easy, the pull of inertia (disinterest, inactivity, apathy, sluggishness) is very strong. So the Almighty gives us a boost. “Move outdoors with me. Come sit under the wings of my Presence and experience My clouds of glory. It’s time to let go of your attachments to the material world. Come outside, leave your comfort zone so that you can embrace our relationship…you will appreciate a change.”
 The holiday of Sukkot impels us to live just outside our comfort zone — without the walls and locks and sense of stability provided by the material world that usually consoles us. On the High Holidays we make decisions about growth and transformation.  It isn’t easy to stick to them — even with the best organized plans. The Almighty King, when we allow ourselves to live solely under His protection for a week. . . Yes, we are always solely under His protection, but on Sukkot we make it authentically real, understandable, and obvious.  The joy of that experience can carry you through the year.
 May these days be extraordinary and blessed as we celebrate the 1st Day of Assembly.
The Four Species are waved each day (except for Shabbat) in the synagogue, during the recitation of the Hallel prayers of praise. Hallel is followed by Hoshanot, where everyone circles a TORAH SCROLL. 


Praying for the peace of Jerusalem, is praying for the return of our Messiah and Lord and for the Kingdom of God He is bringing when He comes.  Then God's Will shall be done on earth as it is in Heaven and the world will experience true godly universal peace which is the fruit of Righteousness.  



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