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Sukkot, a Hebrew word meaning “booths” or “huts,” refers to the annual Jewish festival of giving thanks for a bountiful fall harvest and commemorates the 40 years of Jewish wandering in the desert after the giving of the Torah atop Mt. Sinai.
The Jewish New Year of the Trees, or Tu BiSh’vat, lends itself to many home observations and activities. Here are some ideas for crafts, planting, quiet activities, and more.
What is a lulav and etrog? Learn about the customs, ritual objects, and music associated with Sukkot.
As a people with agricultural roots, Jews have found many ways to mark the seasonal and environmental changes that occur throughout the year. Sukkot has numerous other themes and areas of focus that encompass seasonal, historical, and theological perspectives. It is among the festivals that fall in the Hebrew month of Tishrei, emphasizing not only the cycles of the earth, but also the cycles of Jewish life. (The other holidays in Tishrei are Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, and Simchat Torah.)
Parents and kids can work together to make these pretty lanterns, perfect for decorating the sukkah.
Presenter: Rabbi Bruce Kadden
Isaac’s favorite holiday was Sukkot, and his favorite part of Sukkot was the etrog. He always bought the biggest etrog he could afford, and he dreamed of even bigger ones. One year he had saved up for the biggest and most beautiful etrog, and on his way to buy it, he saw a man crying on the side of the road. What happened next? Rabbi Mark Kaiserman retells the story. For a similar version of this story, see So What? in “The Jewish Story Finder: A Guide to 668 Tales Listing Subjects and Sources” by Sharon Barcan Elswit.