Sukkot: Symbols of the Season

Sukkot is a holiday of duality for the Jews. It is both a holiday celebrating the harvest as well as a holiday commemorating G-d’s protective kindness during the forty years spent wandering in the desert before our entrance into the Holy Land. The holiday is full of symbols for both of these themes.

The first of these involves the construction (or purchase) of a sukkah, a temporary hut with a roof made of vegetation so we can look through it and see the stars. For seven days and nights, we eat all our meals in the sukkah – reciting a special blessing – and otherwise regard it as our home. You can go here for more information on the laws regarding sukkah construction: http://tinyurl.com/2e23uwb

Pink Tiny House Dwelling by ooty

On each day of the festival (except Shabbat), during the daytime hours, we take a lulav (date palm frond), an etrog (citron), at least three hadasim (myrtle branches) and two aravot (willow branches), recite a blessing over them, bring them together in our hands, waving them in all six directions: right, left, forward, up, down and backward. This combination of flora is known as The Four Kinds. (The Four Kinds are also an integral part of the holiday's daily morning service.)

Four Species Art Print by jewishmodern

Finally, Hidur Mitzvah (beautification) has always been an important part of the festival’s celebration. The Talmud suggests hanging "handmade carpets and tapestries, nuts, almonds, peaches, pomegranates, branches of grapes, vines...wreaths of corn ears" (Betzah 30b). Decorating the sukkah also helps families involve their children in the preparations and celebration of this wonderful holiday!

Vintage Owl Embroidery from Goofingoff

This year Sukkot begins after sunset on Tuesday evening, September 22 and runs through September 29th.

Etrog Box by norunningwithscissor

!חג שמח

Chag Sameach!


Linda B said...

Thanks, April for the terrific post and showing the works of talented members of EtsyChai.

Handmade in Israel said...

A very informative piece - thanks! I'm a big fan of jewishmodern's art. Love her piece here.

Ooty said...

Thank you for this post! Happy Holiday =)