bloggie

sunday, may 3, 2015 9:53 pm zst

Forty acres and a mou

hyperlinkopotamus

zorkmidden left a comment at 11:20 am 04/25
kianb left a comment at 7:27 pm 04/28
packen and zorkmidden have also commented
kianb left a comment at 5:52 pm 04/20
packen left a comment at 3:29 pm 04/22
zorkmidden and evariste @ large have also commented
franco cbi left a comment at 3:28 am 03/31
packen and evariste @ large have also commented
evariste @ large left a comment at 6:21 am 03/25
Smit left a comment at 2:40 pm 04/08
packen left a comment at 2:19 pm 03/24
zorkmidden and franco cbi have also commented
kianb left a comment at 6:25 pm 03/19
zorkmidden is also here
kianb left a comment at 9:25 pm 03/24
evariste @ large is also here

Sukkot; Symbols & Symbolism

Sukkot (or Succos, for Ashkenazim), comes right on the heels of the somber and reflective "High Holy Days" of Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur. Jews are commanded - twice - to be happy: (Deuteronomy 16:13-15) You shall make the festival of Sukkos.. You shall rejoice on your festival .. A seven day period shall you celebrate to Hashem .. and you will be completely joyous. ("V'samachta BeChagecha .. V'Hayita Ach Sameyach"). Now that we have repented our sins and been judged favorably, we celebrate - joyously. Many have the custom to begin building the Sukka on the night that Yom Kippur ends.

Judaism is replete with symbols. But most of these are either Rabbinic or custom-based. Sukkot is notable for its many biblically mandated symbols: (Leviticus 23:40) On the first day, you will take for yourselves a fruit of a beautiful tree, palm branches, twigs of a braided tree and brook willows, and you will rejoice before the L-RD your G-d for seven days.. We call these the "Arba Minim", the four species: the Etrog, a citrus-like fruit; the Lulav, the center-branch from a date-palm tree; 3 Hadasim, myrtle branches; and 2 Aravot, branches from a willow. We bind the branches together and hold them together with the Etrog and wave them in the six directions: forward, right, back, left, up, and down - symbolizing that G-d is all around us. Some say (based on their shapes) that the Lulav symbolizes the spine; the Etrog, the heart; the Hadas the eyes; and the Arava, the lips, showing that we serve Hashem with our entirety. Others point out that the Etrog has both a beautiful fragrance and taste, where the hadas has a beautiful fragrance and but is inedible, the lulav (at least the dates) can be eaten, and the Aravos have neither quality - symbolizing that all Jews - those with Torah and Good Deeds, Good Deeds but no Torah, Torah but no Deeds and those devoid of either, must all join together in the service of G-d.

lulavEsrog.jpg
The "Arba Minim", or "four species": Etrog, Lulav, Hadasim and Aravot


Of course, the name of the holiday itself comes from the Sukkos, or huts, that we are commanded to live in: (Leviticus 23:42) You shall dwell in booths for seven days; every natives in Israel shall dwell in booths. This is a rare time we are told why: (ibid, 43) So that your generation will know that I caused the Children of Israel to dwell in booths when I took them from the land of Egypt; I am Hashem, your God. The Talmud (Sukka 11b) cites a disagreement (naturally) if this refers to actual booths or to the "Ananei HaKavod", the Clouds of Glory that surrounded the Jews during their 40 years in the desert. One thing is clear: the construction of the Sukka, with it's flimsy roof, serves to remind us that this world is temporal, and even if we think we are safe from the elements, it's really God that controls our destiny. And this lesson is clear after seeing all of the "natural" calamities of the past year.

succa outside.jpg
Succa-exterior view (click to see full sized image)
succa inside.jpg

Succa-interior view (click to see full sized image)


You might ask, if that's so, why is the holiday now - shouldn't it be right after Passover, when the Jews left Egypt?

Some commentators explain that if we left our houses in the spring-time, it looks like we're just going out to enjoy the weather. Going out now, when summer is over and it's starting to get chilly and threatening rain - now, that makes our gentile neighbors scratch their heads at these "crazy Jews"!

The Ga'on Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna explained that after the sin of the Golden Calf, the Clouds of Glory departed. There followed a period of intense T'shuva (repentance). Moses returned up the mountain two more times to try to gain God's complete forgiveness, finally returning with the second Luchos (tablets) on Yom Kippur [see Rashi, Sh'mos 23:11], with the directive to build the Mishkan (Tabernacle). The next day, they started collecting materials, and that lasted for three days. The day after that, the 15th of Tishrei, construction began, and that's when the Clouds returned. So, explains the Gr"a, Sukkot symbolizes God's acceptance of our T'shuva, both then and now.

This is just scratching the surface. There is much to be said about the Mussafim (extra offerings) and the 70 nations, the Ushpizin ("guests") that we welcome each night, and the theme of water that permeates the holiday, but we'll save that for another time.

This year, Sukkot begins at sundown on Monday, October 17th.

Chag Samayech!

Posted by guest author: joem on Oct 16, 2005 3:30 pm

no comments yet

recent comments

[ #4 ]/ zorkmidden: LOL yep, just like when Iranians blame Great Britain for almost everything that went wrong
beautiful story.
I wasn't impressed by "Gone Girl" the movie, the book was more amusing.
' 12. A Greek person isn’t just “stupid”…he’s a “brick” (τοὐβλο). 13. A Greek person doesn’t just “cheat
[ #3 ]/ kianb: And when we're broke it's Merkel's fault! :-D
' 8. You never have enough cash for necessities, but you always manage to find money for luxuries. '
[ Things that Make You Uniquely Greek ]/
I bought "The Girl on the Train" by Paula Hawkins but I haven't started it yet. Everyone is comparing it
' 1. A Greek doesn’t say “I have no idea what’s going on”…she says “I’ve lost my eggs and
Oh, no... Those cobblestones looked real menacing. I'm reading Donna Tartt now. Started with "The Goldfinch", which took me
I think this must be the work of fiction, but still a nice read...
[ #2 ]/ packen: I'm not. Just re-watching The Sopranos on HBO Now. A week before I'm
Anyone reading anything interesting lately?
' Back when English was a four-form system, it, too, had a si—a word used specifically to contradict negative
I hand my head in shame for Britain. Also most of the rest of the world. NB that's a lager
Somehow I wasn't expecting the deepest burrowing animals to be... ...crocodiles. [img]
Just finished watching a great documentary about Voronya Cave. It's 50 mins long and, unfortunately, all in Russian.
[ Cuban Atlantis ]/ . Haven't heard of this one before.
Totally fascinating! Quite a few surprising facts which require further investigation.
[ Abyssal plains: ]/ deep Kansas.
Fascinating! I got all the way to the bottom. Center.
Turns out the ghost cities were exaggerated.
You are most humbly welcome [img]
Masses are a dangerous thing, I usually try to stay away from them.
' Israeli liberals woke up after national elections with a demoralizing feeling: Most of the country, in a deep

home

this & that

bloggie pulse: circulation
last 15 minutes:
24
last hour:
61
last 24 hours:
544
bloggie pulse: comments
since midnite:
0
last 24 hours:
0
in our lifetime:
6411