Weekly Sidra: Sukkot (Tabernacles)
Torah Portion: Vayikra / Leviticus 22:26 – 23:44
Maftir: Bamidbar / Numbers 29:12 – 29:16
Haftorah: Zecharya / Zechariah 14:1-21
“All who survive of all those nations that came up against Jerusalem shall make a pilgrimage year by year to bow low to the King Lord of Hosts and to observe the Feast of Booths. Any of the earth’s communities that do not make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem to bow low to the King Lord of Hosts shall receive no rain. However, if the community of Egypt does not make this pilgrimage, it shall not be visited by the same affliction with which the Lord will strike the other nations that do not come up to observe the Feast of Booths. Such shall be the punishment of Egypt and of all other nations that do not come up to observe the Feast of Booths.” (Zech. 14:16-19)
The more I study the Bible the more amazed I am that so many people choose to ignore it. This is especially true of those who say that the Torah law has been abolished.
The Hebrew word sukkōt is the plural of sukkah, "booth or tabernacle", which is a walled structure covered with skhakh (plant material such as leafy tree overgrowth or palm leaves). The sukkah is 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.
Sukkot is one of the three biblically mandated festivals (Shalosh regalim) on which Hebrews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem see Exodus 23:14-17. In Leviticus we read “On the fifteenth day of this seventh month there shall be the Feast of Booths to the Lord, [to last] seven days.” (Vayikra 23:34) and that “On the first day you shall take the product of hadar trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days.” (Verse 40)
One of the main commandments of HaShem during Sukkot is to rejoice for seven days. This belies the view of the angry Old Testament god whose laws are heavy and burdensome. That is why I love Sukkot and will be spending this time enjoying myself and rejoicing in HaShem. If you don’t want to join in –well I guess you’ll have to go back to your boring pagan life.
Tags: bamidbar, boughs, feast of booths, fifteenth day, hebrew word, israelites, leafy trees, lord of hosts, palm trees, pilgrimage to jerusalem, plant material, reminiscence, sidra, slavery in egypt, sukkah, sukkot, Tabernacles, torah law, torah portion, vayikra
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