Emor – Shishi

Succos and That Other Holiday… The One Everyone Forgets…

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

15 Tishrei marks the start of Succos (“Tabernacles”), which lasts a week. The eighth day is a separate holiday called Atzeres. (We call it “Shemini Atzeres,” shemini meaning the eighth day.) Work is forbidden on all of these special days, except for the middle days of Passover and the days in between Succos and Atzeres.

On the first day of Succos, one must take four species: a palm branch, willow, myrtle and a citron. These are waved before G-d as part of the celebration. The whole week of Succos, Jews dwell in huts with thatched roofs. (Rooves? No, roofs.) This commemorates how the Jews lived in such huts when they left Egypt.

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