Thursday, September 27, 2007

Happy Sukkot!

This week in our homeschool we have been learning about Autumn as a season. In the early years, it is hard for children to fully understand all of the scientific principles brought to them. It is easier for them to understand and remember a celebration. We will be learning about the Jewish culture alongside a variety of others through celebrations and festivities these cultures celebrate. Today marks the beginning of Sukkot. Sukkot is the Hebrew word for "booths." The singular is Sukkah. Sukkot is a celebration that usually falls in September or October and the holiday celebrates God's bounty in nature and God's protection,symbolized by the booths or tabernacles of the Israelites. The holiday is sometimes called the festival of Booths or the Feast of Tabernacles. It is among the happiest of Jewish holidays. People have long celebrated in the fall, when the crops are being harvested. Out of this tradition grew still another name for Sukkot-the Festival of In-Gathering. In-Gathering means harvesting the crops at the end of summer. Thus, Sukkot commemorates both the Israelites' successful journey through the desert and the season when crops are gathered in. Farmers once built small, temporary houses in the fields to use during the harvest season. Today, the sukkot, or sukkahs,as they are sometimes called, not only remind Jews of the booths, in which their ancestors had dwelled during the Exodus from Egypt, but they also call to mind the simple field of huts of farmers. Sukkot is a joyous festival of thankfulness, similar to the American holiday of Thanksgiving.

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