Five days after Yom Kippur, the moon grows full. It lights up a special celebration called Sukkot (soo-COAT), a harvest festival that lasts for an entire week. Sukkot is known as “the time of our joy.” On Sukkot we celebrate completing the hard work of teshuvah (turning ourselves around). Now we can relax and embrace life’s simple joys.


Sukkot literally means “small huts.” For the week of Sukkot, it is a tradition to build a sukkah (hut) outdoors to relive experiences from the Jewish past. These include the desert encampments of our ancestors fleeing slavery in Egypt, the field tents used by farmers in ancient Israel during the fall harvest, and the tents of pilgrims visiting the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.


For seven days, the sukkah becomes our temporary home for eating, relaxing, and even sleeping. We hang fruits and vegetables in the sukkah and are grateful for the plenty in our lives. We gaze at the stars and think about our connection with our beautiful world. Sitting outside of our home (and all the stuff it holds) helps us focus on the blessing of being together with family, friends, and community.

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