Happy Sukkot! Ancient festival commemorates journey of Jews to Holy Land

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Sukkot begins on Sunday night. The festival commemorates the journey of the Jews from Egypt to the Promised Land.

By World Israel News Staff

Sukkot is one of the three pilgrimage festivals where Jews are enjoined in the Bible to come to Jerusalem. It commemorates the journey of the People of Israel from Egypt to the Land of Israel.

The holiday commemorates how God protected the Jewish people for 40 years as they wandered the desert after they left Egypt. During that time, they lived in temporary shelters known as sukkot, which literally means “booths.”

It is also a harvest festival, which is why it’s also referred to in the Bible as Chag HaAsif, or “Festival of Ingathering” in addition to Chag HaSukkot.

Sukkot lasts seven days in Israel and eight days in the Diaspora.

On each day of the holiday, it is required to perform a waving ceremony with the Four Species, or four plants mentioned in the Bible, citron, palm, myrtle, and willow.

As written in Leviticus 23:40: “And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.”

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Sukkot is the only holiday during which Gentiles were invited to celebrate with the Jews by coming to the Temple.

In a nod to this tradition, the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem has brought thousands of Christians from around the world to Israel’s capital for the past 39 years for an annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration that includes a Jerusalem March to the Old City in support of Israel.

David Isaac: