Sukkot is one of my favorite Jewish holidays. Scratch that. It’s one of my favorite holidays. I grew up in the Northeast United States, and autumn in New York is beautiful! Being outside for eight days is my idea of fun.
You can find out about Sukkot in Leviticus 23. The basic information is that God wanted Israel to rejoice and live in booths outside for 7 days. God wanted Israel to live outside in temporary shelters to remind each new generation that He had made them live in shelters and cared for them in the wilderness. He rescued them from Egypt. God told Israel that this festival would be celebrated for all future generations. And we celebrate Sukkot even today.
Here’s a list of random facts about Sukkot:
-Apparently one of the ways it was celebrated at the time of Y’shua was juggling torches. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel could juggle 8 burning torches with one hand.
-John chapter 7 talks all about Y’shua celebrating Sukkot at the Temple. He says that anyone who is thirsty should drink from Him.
-A big part of the celebration of Sukkot was something called water libation, which means the water was poured about at a pool. Look at the above, it now makes sense.
-A lulav is an unopened palm, a myrtle branch, and a willow branch. An etrog is a kind of citron, related to a lemon or orange.
-Etrog are very expensive, they can be hundreds of dollars.
-It’s traditional to have visitors, called Ushpizin in your sukkah
-There’s a movie called Ushpizin that is about having visitors in a sukkah
-Chanukah was a delayed Sukkot
-Thanksgiving was a Sukkot celebration
-A sukkah should have 3 walls
We read all through the Bible how God takes care of Israel and rescues them time after time. God isn’t just a God of the Bible, He’s also a God of today. We live in a temporary world. Like a sukkah, it’s great, but I don’t think I’d want to live in a sukkah forever. It’s important to remember that things of the world are temporary , and things that we go through are temporary, but what’s of God is permanent.
During this time of Sukkot, even if you can’t go and celebrate in a sukkah (or “booth”) try to find time to go outside and think about how God has been faithful in your life and are you spending more time working on temporary things that aren’t going to last or permanent things that will last forever.