Jewish Holidays - Sukkot/Simchat Torah Chart 2

Jewish Holidays - Sukkot/Simchat Torah Chart 2

Sukkot and Simchat Torah Primer
So you made it through Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur--now what about those other autumn holidays? An overview of Sukkot and Simchat Torah:

 
When It Falls
  • Sundown Sept. 26-
    Sundown Oct. 3, 2007
  • 15-21 Tishrei
  • Sundown Oct. 3-
    Sundown Oct. 5, 2007
  • 22-23 Tishrei
  • Meaning
  • Festival of Booths--commemoration of temporary huts Israelites dwelled in during 40-year desert trek
  • Commemoration of old harvest festival
  • Show of trust in God's protection
  • Pilgrimage festival to Jerusalem during Temple times
  • Though technically the same holiday, each day of the festival has a different name:
  • Shemini Atzeret: Eighth Day of Assembly
    --closure of the seven-day Sukkot
  • Simchat Torah: Joy of the Torah--end of the annual cycle of Torah readings
  • Essential Mitzvah "Dwelling" in a sukkah, a temporary hut often made with wood panels or canvas, topped with bamboo or other branches Re-starting the annual cycle of Torah readings by chanting the beginning of Genesis
    Customs & Laws
  • Building and decorating the sukkah
  • Eating in the sukkah (some people also sleep in it)
  • Waving and saying the blessing over the lulav (branches of willow, date palm, and myrtle) and the etrog (citron fruit)
  • Work is prohibited on the first two days, like on the Sabbath, and permitted on the remaining days
  • Prayer for adequate rainfall
  • Dancing with the Torah scrolls as they are paraded around the synagogue
  • Chanting the final portion of the Torah, then immediately beginning Genesis
  • Honoring all present in synagogue with aliyot
    --being called to the Torah to recite the blessing
  • Related Food
  • Pomegranates
  • After the holiday, many people make jelly from the etrog
  • None in particular
    Biblical Source "In booths you should dwell seven days; every native in Israel shall dwell in booths; so that your generations will know that I caused the Children of Israel to dwell in booths when I took them from the land of Egypt. I am the Lord, your God." (Leviticus 23:42-43) "On the eighth day ye shall have a solemn assembly: ye shall do no manner of servile work." (Numbers 29:35)
    Traditional Greeting Chag Sameach--Happy Holiday Chag Sameach--Happy Holiday


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