End of Feast of Tabernacles

We are at the end of the weeklong feast of Tabernacles.  I had a cool experience last Friday night. We celebrated a Feast of Tabernacles Shabbat at a home of a friend with a dozen people.  It was really great as we remember that God tabernacled amongst us and one day, He will rule and reign on this earth during the Millenium kingdom.  

The Essence of Sukkot
Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles, is a time of joy and gratitude. It’s a weeklong celebration that follows Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Sukkot is a dual commemoration - it celebrates the bountiful harvest and also remembers the divine protection God provided for the Israelites during their exodus from Egypt.
Observing Sukkot: The North American Way
The Sukkah: A Symbol of Trust
The sukkah, a temporary dwelling covered with foliage, is at the heart of this celebration. For seven days and nights, meals are shared in this humble abode made of natural materials like bamboo, pine boughs, or palm branches. This practice reminds us of our ancestors’ reliance on God’s protection during their journey in the wilderness.
The Four Kinds: An Expression of Unity
Another beautiful tradition of Sukkot is the taking of the Four Kinds. This involves an etrog (citron), a lulav (palm frond), three hadassim (myrtle branches), and two aravot (willow branches). These are waved in all directions, symbolizing God’s omnipresence and our unity under His care.
Festive Meals: A Time for Fellowship
The first two days of Sukkot are yom tov, days when work is set aside. Families and friends gather in the sukkah for festive meals, preceded by Kiddush—a blessing over wine or grape juice. The meals often include challah dipped in honey, symbolizing our hope for sweetness in the coming year.
Chol Hamoed & Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah
The intermediate days known as Chol Hamoed are a blend of regular and festival days. During these days, we continue to dwell in the sukkah and take the Four Kinds. The holiday concludes with Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah, marking the end and renewal of the annual cycle of Torah readings.

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