Get Ready for Sukkot

Right after Yom Kippur we start building our Sukkah!

PVC Sukkah!

PVC Sukkah!

Sukkoth begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Tishri, which is 5 days after Yom Kippur.

The festival of Sukkot, also known as Chag’ha Succot, the “Feast of Booths” (or Tabernacles), is named for the huts (sukkah) that Moses and the Israelites lived in as they wandered the desert for 40 years before they reached the Promised Land. These huts were made of branches and were easy to assemble, take apart, and carry as the Israelites wandered through the desert.

Of the many symbols associated with Sukkot the most important are the Four Species. The Four Species are:   Etrog – The fruit of the goodly tree, also known as the citron
 Palm branch – know as the lulav
Myrtle – the hadas
Willow – the aravah

 Together these items make up the Etrog and Lulav, which are important ingredients in the celebration of Sukkot in the synagogue .

Shaking the Etrog & Lulav:

Etrog left hand Lulav right hand

East – forward  South – right  West back  North left Up and then down

Turn the etrog so the pittam faces up, and keeping your hands close together so the lulav and etrog are touching, wave them in six directions: east, south, west, north, above, and below. A warning: a broken pittam, renders the etrog passul, unkosher for use.

The Arba Minim, or the four species, represent the abundant, agricultural nature of Sukkot. Just as the farmer gathers his crops, we are also instructed to gather four kinds of growing things and use them to praise and rejoice with G-d.

First Blessing: Baruch Ata Adonai Eloheinu Melekh Haolam asher kishanu b’mitzvotav, v’tzivanu al netilat lulav.

Blessed are You Lord our G-d, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning the taking of a palm branch.

Second Blessing: Baruch Ata Adonai Eloheinu Melekh Haolam, shehekheyanu, v’kiyamanu, v’higgiyanu lazman hazeh.

Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and allowed us to reach this season.

 Ushpizin, “inviting guests” into our sukkot. On Sukkot, we focus not on all of the things that we have, but on the people that are important to us and help us become better people.  So we invite our friends and even strangers to visit in our Sukkah.

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