Jewish Holidays

Sukkot: An Agricultural or Historic Holiday?

June 29, 2006, by

Wouldn’t make more sense to celebrate Sukkot during the month of Nisan instead of Tishrei? After all, this is the holiday that commemorates our dwelling in ‘booths’ in the desert after we left Egypt, and it was in the month of Nisan that we first set up camp in the desert! In fact, Sukkot was […]

The Mitzva of Building a Sukkah

June 29, 2006, by

In general, a mitzva consists of performing a certain action with a particular object. For example eating matza, donning tefillin, “taking” a lulav, and blowing a shofar are all considered mitzvot. The mitzva consists of a precise action performed with a specific item known as the “cheftza” of the mitzva. In general, the “manufacture” of […]

Travelling and the Mitzva of Sukkah

June 29, 2006, by

This article will treat the permissibility of eating and sleeping outside the sukkah during trips taken during Chol Ha-mo’ed – specifically those organized, as is customary, by youth groups. SOURCE The primary source on this issue is the passage in Sukkah (26a): The Rabbis taught: Those travelling during the day are exempt from sukkah during […]

Why is Sukkot Different?

June 29, 2006, by

The Torah reading for the first two days of Sukkot raises some serious questions. We understand that the reading is, for the most part (aliyot 1-4), not an historical depiction of Sukkot, as the Torah does not provide such narrative. However, when the Torah does focus its attention on Sukkot (aliyah 5), the presentation is […]

Torah Reading for Shabbat Chol HaMoed

June 29, 2006, by

The morning Torah reading of Shabbat Chol Ha-moed consists of selected portions from Parshat Ki Tisa. The conclusion of the reading summarily addresses the Shalosh Regalim, and this would seem to be the relevance of the reading to the day. However, the first six aliyot have nothing to do with Yom Tov; rather, they deal […]

Get Happy!

June 29, 2006, by

Of all the seasons in the Jewish calendar year, Sukkot is the premier time to GET HAPPY!! Yes, it’s true that the biblical mitzvah (commandment) of “rejoicing on the festivals” also applies to both Pesach and Shavuot, while the rabbinically ordained holiday of Purim is by no means lacking in heart-lifting and joyous (and often […]

Sukkot and the Dedication of the Beit HaMikdash

June 29, 2006, by

The Haftarah of the second day of Sukkot details the dedication of the Beit HaMikdash (the Temple) by Shlomo Ha-Melech. The Haftarah narrates the final preparations for sanctifying the Beit HaMikdash, explaining that the Aron Ha-Kodesh (Holy Ark) was brought by the Kohanim into the Kodesh Ha-Kadashim (Holy of Holies), after which Hashem’s cloud filled […]

Beauty and the Etrog

June 29, 2006, by

Every civilization and every philosophical system searches for the meaning of beauty. In classical Western thought, the pursuit of the Beautiful is deemed to be as basic as the quest for the Good and the True. Contemporary culture has been profoundly influenced by this perspective. To this day, the striving for beauty is a dominant […]

Simchat Beit HaShoeva: The Water Libations

June 29, 2006, by

Every sacrifice brought in the Temple was accompanied by a flour offering and the pouring of a prescribed measure of wine on the altar. During the seven days of the Festival of Sukkot a libation of water was added to that of wine together with each of the daily morning offerings. This water libation is […]

Sukkot: Seventy Oxen for the Nations of the World

June 29, 2006, by

After the regular daily offering in the Temple, the Additional Offerings were brought. Each day there was a different number of these Additional Offerings were to be brought. All together seventy oxen were to be brought in the course of the entire festival. These seventy oxen corresponded to the seventy original nations of the world […]