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The Jewish Holiday Succot Essay

757 words - 3 pages

SuccotThe Jewish HolidayAfter the Exodus from slavery in Egypt, the wandering Jews lived in tents or booths,called Succots. They were pitched wherever they happened to stop for the night. Today itis called the Succot the festival of booths remembering both the ancient agriculturalbooths and those of the Exodus. The harvest festival of thanksgiving, Succot, begins fivedays after Yom Kippur, and lasts for eight days. The first two days are the most holy,during which most Jews do not work. The families construct the booths and decorate itwith branches, and leaves, fruits, and other designs. The roof is covered lightly, so thestars and the sky can still be seen. Most Jewish families eat all their meals in the Succot,while some even sleep in them.During the Succot festival, thanks are given for all growing plants by using four plantswhich are symbolic of all the rest. These four plants also represent the Jewish people. TheEtrog, or the citrus fruit, stands for the people who are educated in the Torah and who dogood deeds. The Lulav, or branch of the date palm, stands for the Jewish people who haveknowledge but no good deeds. The Hadas,or myrtle, symbolizes the people who do gooddeeds, but are not educated. The Aravah, or willow, stands for the people who have nogood deeds and no education. These plants are carried around the synagogue in aprocession while prayers are recited for blessings on the land and fruit of Israel. In biblicaltimes, the willow, the palm, and the Etrog were used in decorating the Succot.At the end of the Autum harvest, on the fifteenth day of Tishri (September-October)Succot is celebrated. It is believed that the festival originated with the ancient Canaanitecelebration after the grape harvest at the end of the annual dry season. During this timerites were performed to incourage the rains. Boughs of fruit trees and evergreens weremade into little booths which the early Jewish farmers lived during the festival.The last day of Succot is called Simhat Torah. It means the "rejoicing of the Torah."SuccotThe Jewish HolidayAfter the Exodus from slavery in Egypt, the wandering Jews lived in tents or booths,called Succots. They were pitched wherever they happened to stop for the night. Today itis called the Succot the festival of booths remembering both the...

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