By RABBI JOSEPH H. PROUSER
We customarily read the Book of Ecclesiastes (“Kohelet”) in conjunction with Succot: commonly, on the intermediate Sabbath of the Festival or on Shemini Atzeret… though there is no mention of this practice in the Talmud.
Rashi explains the Hebrew name of this Biblical work: “Kohelet” (from the root k.h.l., meaning “to gather”) is so called, he says, because its author “gathered together many different forms...
(JNS.org) – Thousands gathered at the Western Wall on Wednesday morning for the traditional Succot Priestly Blessing.
Present for the ceremony were Israel’s Ashkenazi and Sephardi chief rabbis, David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef, as well as Rabbi of the Western Wall Shmuel Rabinovitch.
Security and religious authorities warned ahead of time that if the Western Wall Plaza became too crowded, entrance to both the Old City and the plaza...
By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ
(JTA) — Before the Spanish Inquisition, the island of Mallorca had a sizeable Jewish community. Every fall, the island became dotted with the leaf-roofed huts that Jews are commanded to erect during the holiday of Succot.
But that all changed under the Inquisition’s campaign of persecution that began in 1488 (four years before it started on Spain’s mainland) and was only officially abolished centuries later in 1834.
By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB
“FROM FEAR TO FESTIVITIES“
Fear and trembling.
Those have been our primary religious emotions during the past several weeks.
Although Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are referred to nowadays as the High Holidays, traditionally they were known as the Days of Awe, Yamim Noraim. Frightful days, fearful days.
During this recent time...
By RABBI DAVID WOLPE
I don’t know if the story is true, but I hope it is. Goldberg built a succah. Next door lived a nasty man who didn’t like Jews and decided to get an injunction against unstable structures in the neighborhood. The case came to court and having listened to the arguments, Judge Steinberg said, “You are correct. The structure may not stand. Mr. Goldberg, you have a...
By JOSEFIN DOLSTEN
(JTA) — For his latest installation, dancer and choreographer Adam McKinney drew inspiration from what may seem like disparate sources: the Jewish holiday of Succot, the coronavirus pandemic and the 1921 lynching of a Black man in Texas.
“Shelter in Place” consists of a “deconstructed sukkah,” tree branches hanging from the ceiling and elements making up the schach, a see-through material put on top of the sukkah,...
By SHIRA HANAU
(JTA) — Succot, the harvest festival that Jews celebrate each fall, would seem to be designed for the COVID-19 pandemic. After all, it’s typically observed outdoors in temporary structures, allowing for more of the fresh air that is considered one of the easiest ways to reduce transmission of the coronavirus.
That’s making the large public succahs erected in parks, synagogues and streets in many observant communities especially...
By RABBI JOSEPH H. PROUSER
Many congregations conducted this year’s High Holiday services under open-walled tents: a wise health and safety precaution in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a chaplain serving the Boy Scouts of America, I conducted countless outdoor services under canvas. This year’s Holidays – so very different from years past – thus nevertheless had a comforting familiarity!
Tents have an honored place in Jewish history.
By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF
Succot, like perfect sweet and sour cabbage soup, has two flavors. A single holiday with two themes. We celebrate the bounty of the grape and olive harvest in the Promised Land; also we commemorate 40 hungry years of wanderings in that huge sand pile – the Sinai Peninsula – a garden that can only grow rocks.
The Chumash commands us to relive...