Sukkot (soo COAT) is a Jewish holiday that falls after the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. On Sukkot, (ambitious) Jews build a small, temporary structure called a "Sukkah" or "booth." (Sukkot is the plural of the word Sukkah). The sukkah commemorates the dwellings in which the Jews lived during the forty years of wandering in the desert following the Exodus. Sukkot is also the fall harvest holiday, so inside the sukkah one hangs vegetables or fruits to thank God for a bountiful harvest.
God commands the Jews to observe Sukkot in Leviticus 23:39-43 where he says "[W]hen you have gathered in the yield of your land, you shall observe the festival of the Lord to last seven days... You shall live in booths seven days... in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite people live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt." The sukkah is built after Yom Kippur and has to be completed in five days before Sukkot begins. It is taken down at the end of Sukkot. A sukkah typically has 3 walls and a roof that is covered with branches or thatch. The roof is supposed to be dense enough to provide shade but thin enough that someone sitting in it at night can see the stars. Some people eat meals in the sukkah and even sleep out in it.
I had never done anything for Sukkot before, outside of the ceremonies that happened during Sunday school as a child, and decided that 2002 would be a good year to start. I'd never built a sukkah before and, well, there's a first time for everything. Fortunately, I had lots of help from Laurel. Sukkot 2002 began on Friday night, September 18th. We started building the Sukkah the preceeding Tuesday, but as is typical, we left alot to do the last day and barely got it done in time. We ate dinner outside Friday night, and we had family over the next day to snack out in the Sukkah. It was lots of fun building it and we plan to do it again every year.
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