Happy Holiday Sukkot (Chag Semach)
Updated: Mar 12, 2019
Sukkot (Hebrew: סוכות or סֻכּוֹת, sukkōt, commonly translated as Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of the Ingathering, is a biblical Hebrew holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the seventh month, Tishrei (varies from late September to late October). During the existence of the Jerusalem Temple, it was one of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals (Hebrew: שלוש רגלים, shalosh regalim) on which the Israelites were commanded to perform a pilgrimage to the Temple.
Sukkot has a double significance. The one mentioned in the Book of Exodus is agricultural in nature—"Feast of Ingathering at the year's end" (Exodus 34:22)—and marks the end of the harvest time and thus of the agricultural year in the Land of Israel. The more elaborate religious significance from the Book of Leviticus is that of commemorating the Exodus and the dependence of the People of Israel on the will of God (Leviticus 23:42-43).
The holiday lasts seven days in Israel and eight in the diaspora. The first day (and second day in the diaspora) is a Shabbat-like holiday when work is forbidden. The festival is closed with another Shabbat-like holiday called Shemini Atzeret (one day in Israel, two days in the diaspora, where the second day is called Simchat Torah). Shemini Atzeret coincides with the eighth day of Sukkot outside Israel.
The Hebrew word sukkōt is the plural of sukkah, "booth" or "tabernacle", which is a walled structure covered with s'chach (plant material such as overgrowth or palm leaves). A sukkah is the name of the temporary dwelling in which farmers would live during harvesting, a fact connecting to the agricultural significance of the holiday stressed by the Book of Exodus. As stated in Leviticus, it is also intended as a reminiscence of the type of fragile dwellings in which the Israelites dwelt during their 40 years of travel in the desert after the Exodus from slavery in Egypt. Throughout the holiday, meals are eaten inside the sukkah and many people sleep there as well.
On each day of the holiday it is mandatory to perform a waving ceremony with the Four Species.
It is a time of rejoicing of the Lord and during this festival we bring our offerings to God in Spirit and in Truth. Since 1948 it has been possible to celebrate Sukkot in Israel since her Rebirth. Whether you are in Israel or not the command of the Lord is the same.
The Ingathering of the harvest represents both Hebrew and Gentile coming together forming the One New Man. Jesus said "I am the vine, you are the branches. He that abides in me and I in him will bear much fruit." One of the agriculture harvests is the grapes in Israel during this season of rejoicing.
May we be reminded as we rejoice in our Salvation that He is the vine and we are the branches. The Spirit lives in us and awaits for us to reach back to our Hebrew brothers and sisters according to Romans 11. Our goal is not to convert but to recognise we both serve the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
We are anticipating the return of the Messiah to complete the civil cycle.
Psalm 120-121 The Passion Translation (TPT)
God Helped Me
120 A song of the stairway
1 I was desperate for you to help me in my struggles, and you did!
2 So come and deliver me now from this treachery and false accusation.
3 O lying deceivers, don’t you know what is your fate?
4 You will be pierced through with condemnation and consumed with burning coals of fire!
5 Why am I doomed to live as an alien, scattered among these cruel savages? Am I destined to dwell in the darkened tents of desert nomads?
6 For too long I’ve had to live among those who hate peace.
7 I speak words of peace while they speak words of war, but they refuse to listen.
God Protects Us
121 A song of the stairway
1–2 I look up to the mountains and hills, longing for God’s help. But then I realize that our true help and protection come only from the Lord, our Creator who made the heavens and the earth.
3 He will guard and guide me, never letting me stumble or fall. God is my keeper; he will never forget nor ignore me.
4 He will never slumber nor sleep; he is the Guardian-God for his people, Israel.
5 Jehovah himself will watch over you; he’s always at your side to shelter you safely in his presence.
6 He’s protecting you from all danger both day and night.
7 He will keep you from every form of evil or calamity as he continually watches over you.
8 You will be guarded by God himself. You will be safe when you leave your home and safely you will return. He will protect you now, and he’ll protect you forevermore!
Touched By Grace.