Well – it's another eve to a holiday here in Israel, so lets blog about Sukkot.
This is another Biblical holiday running a total of seven-days. You can read about it in Leviticus 23:34-35 and 23:39-43.
The first day is a full holiday – like a Shabbat. Each of the seven days are marked by special prayers and scriptural readings including the Book of Ecclesiastes.
Sukkot is a joyful, family oriented holiday. This is opposite to the holiday we just celebrated a few days ago; Yom Kippur – which is somber and introspective.
Sukkot is characterized by two main things. First, Jewish folks are enjoined to build a sukkah. This is the temporary wooden structure to parallel the structures the biblical Jews slept in during the exodus out of Egypt during the 40 year sojourn in the desert.
They are to ideally eat all of their meals within it, and (when it is possible) sleep in it too.
These temporary huts are topped with thatch or palm fronds. They are usually built on patios, rooftops, or courtyards to the home.
The second main Sukkot observance is the special bouquet. It consists of a closed palm frond, a citron, a myrtle branch and a willow branch – that is held during morning prayers on each of the seven days – except on the Sabbath).
Its origins can be traced to Leviticus 23:40, but there are many traditional explanations of its symbolism that do not come from the Bible.
We'll talk more about it on tomorrows Harvest Show – so be sure to tune in as I bring you all the news from here in Jerusalem.
Middle East Correspondent