Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sukkat 2015

The joyous festival of Sukkat follows the serious introspective intensity of Yom Kippur. For seven days Jews eat meals in a hut covered with grass or stalks so that the stars can be seen. And during the morning service each day the ritual of the Lulav and Etrog are carried out (described here much more authoritatively than I care to do). The first two days are considered major holidays, so I was not permitted to photograph in the sukkat on those days, but later this week there's really good opportunity. The day after Sukkat ends, the holiday of Simchat Torah is celebrated. It's a joyous day of dancing and reading the Torah. The day commemorates the reading of the final chapter of the Torah, at which point the scrolls are re-rolled and reading continues with the first chapter of Genesis. I've never been permitted to photograph the event because it too is a major holiday.

It's traditional to gather as families or groups that worship together to partake of a holiday meal on the eve of the first day of Sukkat.

Preparing the Lulav before the holiday begins:





Discussing the latest in holiday fashion:



Setting up the tables for the extended family:



Reciting the blessing over the holiday candles: