Sukkot

The Festival of Sukkot begins on Tishri 15, the fifth day after Yom Kippur. It is quite a drastic transition, from one of the most solemn holidays in our year to one of the most joyous. Sukkot is so unreservedly joyful that it is commonly referred to in Jewish prayer and literature as Z'man Simchateinu, the Season of our Rejoicing.

Sukkot is the last of the Shalosh R'galim (three pilgrimage festivals). Like Passover and Shavuot, Sukkot has a dual significance: historical and agricultural. Historically, Sukkot commemorates the forty-year period during which the children of Israel were wandering in the desert, living in temporary shelters. Agriculturally, Sukkot is a harvest festival and is sometimes referred to as Chag Ha-Asif, the Festival of Ingathering.

Sukkot lasts for seven days. The two days following the festival, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, are separate holidays but are related to Sukkot and are commonly thought of as part of Sukkot.

The festival of Sukkot is instituted in Leviticus 23:33 et seq. No work is permitted on the first and second days of the holiday. Work is permitted on the remaining days. These intermediate days on which work is permitted are referred to as Chol Hamoed, as are the intermediate days of Passover. 

The Sukkah
In honor of the holiday's historical significance, we are commanded to dwell in temporary shelters, as our ancestors did in the wilderness. The commandment to "dwell" in a sukkah can be fulfilled by simply eating all of one's meals there; however, if the weather, climate, and one's health permit, one should live in the sukkah as much as possible, including sleeping in it.

A sukkah must have at least three walls covered with a material that will not blow away in the wind. A sukkah may be any size, so long as it is large enough for you to fulfill the commandment of dwelling in it. The roof of the sukkah must be made of material referred to as sekhakh (literally, covering). To fulfill the commandment, sekhakh must be something that grew from the ground and was cut off, such as tree branches, corn stalks, bamboo reeds, sticks, or two-by-fours. Sekhakh must be left loose, not tied together or tied down. Sekhakh must be placed sparsely enough that rain can get in, and preferably sparsely enough that the stars can be seen, but not so sparsely that more than ten inches is open at any point or that there is more light than shade. The sekhakh must be put on last.

The following blessing is recited when eating a meal in the sukkah:

Baruch atah adonai eloheinu melech ha'olam asher 
kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu leisheiv basukkah.

The Four Species
Another observance important to Sukkot involves the four species (arba minim). Jews are commanded to take four plants - etrog (a citrus fruit native to Israel); lulav (a palm branch); hadas (a branch from a myrtle tree); and, arava (a willow branch). Joined together, they are used to "rejoice before the Lord."

Every morning of Sukkot, except on Shabbat, it is the custom to hold the lulav in the right hand and the etrog in the left. Bringing them together (with the pitam, the stem of the etrog pointing downward), the following blessing is recited:

Baruch atah adonai eloheinu melech ha'olam asher 
kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu al n'tilat lulav.

The four species are also held during the Hallel prayer in religious services, and are held during processions around the bimah each day during the holiday. These processions commemorate similar processions around the alter of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. The processions are known as Hoshanahs, because while the procession is made, we recite a prayer with the refrain, "Hosha na!" (please save us!). On the seventh day of Sukkot, seven circuits are made. For this reason, the seventh day of Sukkot is known as Hoshanah Rabbah (the great Hoshanah).


Source: Bard, Mitchell G. Jewish Holidays: Sukkot, 1998 http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/holiday5.html

Service Times

formatted description
Sunday Sep 23, 2018 / 14th of Tishrei, 5779
Erev Sukkot
Minha 6:00 PM
Candle Lighting 6:57 PM

Monday Sep 24, 2018 / 15th of Tishrei, 5779
Sukkot I
Services 8:45 AM
Junior Minyan 10:00 AM
Minha 7:00 PM
Candle Lighting not before 7:53 PM

Tuesday Sep 25, 2018 / 16th of Tishrei, 5779
Sukkot II
Services 8:45 AM
Junior Minyan 10:00 AM
Minha 7:00 PM
Havdalah 7:55 PM

Wednesday Sep 26, 2018 / 17th of Tishrei, 5779
Sukkot III
Services 7:30 AM
Minha 6:00 PM

Thursday Sep 27, 2018 / 18th of Tishrei, 5779
Sukkot IV
Services 7:30 AM
Minha 6:00 PM

Friday Sep 28, 2018 / 19th of Tishrei, 5779
Sukkot V
Services 7:30 AM
Minha 6:00 PM
Candle Lighting 6:47 PM

Saturday Sep 29, 2018 / 20th of Tishrei, 5779
Sukkot VI
Services 8:45 AM
Junior Minyan 10:00 AM
Minha 6:45 PM
Havdalah 7:48 PM

Sunday Sep 30, 2018 / 21st of Tishrei, 5779
Sukkot VII
Services 8:30 AM
Erev Shmini Atzeret
Minha 6:00 PM
Candle Lighting 6:44 PM

Monday Oct 01, 2018 / 22nd of Tishrei, 5779
Shmini Atzeret
Services 8:45 AM
Junior Minyan 10:00 AM
Erev Simchat Torah
Minha 6:45 PM
Candle Lighting not before 7:41 PM

Tuesday Oct 02, 2018 / 23rd of Tishrei, 5779
Simchat Torah
Services 8:45 AM
Junior Minyan 10:00 AM
Minha 6:45 PM
Havdalah 7:42 PM

Sukkot Gallery