Every year at this time Jews sit in a Sukkah, to commemorate how their ancestors journeyed from Egypt. On the Hebrew calendar it begins at sundown on the evening of the 14th of Tishrei and runs the day of the 15th. That’s tonight and tomorrow.
“Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord. On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.” Leviticus 23:34-36
A Sukkah is a foliage-covered hut. Jews were to perform this ritual throughout their generations, to lie in this temporary dwelling and be able to look up at the stars and remember their deliverance from bondage in Egypt. In the busyness of every day life it’s easy to forget that behind the scenes God is working His purposes on this earth. The Sukkah reminds the Jewish people (and everyone else!) that God is in control.
Why the Sukkah? “That your generations may know that…I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 23:43
Now this isn’t completely a Jewish affair! For Christians Sukkot, which we call the Feast of Tabernacles, has prophetic significance. In the book of Zechariah, the prophet says that one day all nations will come up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast.
“And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.” Zechariah 14:16
Because of COVID it’s difficult to visit Israel this year, but we can join our minds and hearts with Israelis and Jews around the world and remember the great deliverance from bondage so many years ago… and meditate on the great deliverance to come in the future!
Chag Sameach! Happy Holiday!