Remembering how we got here

October 16, 2016


This evening as the sun goes down, Succoth will begin.  Succoth is known in the English Bible as the “Feast of Tabernacles’” or the “Feast of Booths.”  It is a 7-day festival, described in Leviticus, that Jews around the world will observe.  It might be better and more accurate for us to call Succoth “the Fiesta of Shelters.”

During the year Ruth and I and our two children lived in East Jerusalem, Ruth and I would sometimes walk home after taking the children by bus to the Anglican school in West Jerusalem.  In October as we walked home we noticed that small shelters, lean-tos, very flimsy open-ended shelters or sheds began appearing beside the Jewish homes.  What was going on, we wondered.  Our Jewish friends told us that these were sukkot, temporary dwellings that families constructed to celebrate the Feast of Booths Sukkot.  Each family could (or should) build their very own succah every year.  It usually had four corner posts, had a roof of branches but not tightly woven with spaces between the braches so they could see the stars at night.  The Succah had two or three walls with at least one open side.

Bible References

  • Deuteronomy 8:11 - 20
  • Leviticus 23:39 - 43
  • John 7:2 - 10