Sukkot – so soon? Yessssss!

Shalom!
The following is this week’s letter from FFOZ – First Fruits of Zion – an organization headed by my friend, Boaz Michael.
I receive this service every week – love it!
I would like to point out that Messianics (and Jews) outside the Land (Israel) are NOT required to spend nights sleeping in a sukkah. Sukkah is the singular of the Hebrew word “Sukkot”, which is pronounced sue-COAT with the accent on the last syllable, as most Hebrew words are. Please note the requirements for building the sukkah are rabbinical rather than Biblical. There are not many requirements given in Scripture, so we have to rely on the rabbis for instruction. If Y’shua wanted to change things, He would have when He was here. Jews have been keeping these commandments for thirty-seven hundred years (?), so I guess we can in our generation. Common sense still rules. Can you imagine an Alaskan, under 2 feet of snow, sleeping in a sukkah? “Do the best you can with what you have” certainly applies here.
My sukkah is a cube – 8’X8’X8’. I think G-d likes cubes. The Holy of Holies is a cube – 15 ft square. Mine has three sheets of 4’X8’ painted plywood lying on their sides, nailed to 2’X4’s. Two door hinges on the back 2X4s hold it together. When the holydays are over, just pull out the pins and you have three sides to stack and store. The top sides are left open and the back wall has bamboo shades. We can decorate on that, hang fruit and other décor from the lattice covering the top. I use Jewish calendar pictures and whatever else suits me, to decorate. I have a small table and two benches to complete the furnishings. A menorah and an etrog sit on the table. It’s so refreshing to just sit and sip a hot cup of coffee and contemplate the goodness of the Lord and the blessings He has given me. I believe the first day of Sukkot is the birthday of the Messiah and the eighth and last day, the day He was circumcised. I have been singing, “Joy to the World” and “Little Town of Bethlehem” for several days now! Drives my non-Messianic kids crazy! Here’s the story:

Parashat Hashavuah (Portion of the Week)

Sukkot : “The Feast of Booths”
Torah : Leviticus 22:26-23:44
Haftarah : Zechariah 14
Gospel : Luke 2

Sukkot: Camping Out with God

Thought for the Week
The Feast of Tabernacles is the culmination of all the appointed times. It is to the other festivals what the Sabbath is to the other six days of the week. It is a prophetic picture of the coming kingdom. It foreshadows the great celebration when the entire world will live in peace and brotherhood under the reign and rule of the righteous Messiah King. sukkot: Camping Out with God

Commentary
Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, “On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the LORD.” (Leviticus 16:34)

Five days after the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles begins. It is seven days long. The first day is a special Sabbath. The Hebrew name of the festival is sukkot (סוכות, pronounced “sue coat”), a word that means “shelters, stables or huts.” The same word is often translated into English as “tabernacles” or “booths.” The name is derived from the commandment for all Jews to dwell in temporary shelters for the seven days of the festival as a reminder of the post-exodus years when Israel lived in huts and booths, following God in the wilderness:

You shall live in booths for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths. (Leviticus 23:42)

The temporary shelter is referred to as a sukkah (סוכה), which is the singular form of the plural word sukkot. A traditional sukkah must have at least two and a half walls made from virtually any material. The walls don’t have to be solid. They could be plywood, canvas, latticework or just about anything. One wall can be part of a permanent structure. For example, the wall of a garage would work. The rest of the booth has to be temporary and disassembled after the festival.

The sukkah booth can be any size, so long as it is large enough for the family to eat and sleep in. The roof of the sukkah is supposed to be covered with some sort of foliage or vegetation that grows from the ground: tree branches, cornstalks, bamboo reeds, sticks or even lumber. The roof material has to provide adequate shade yet be sparse enough so rain can get in and stars can be seen through it. The sukkah should leave a person vulnerable to the elements.

The process of building and living in a sukkah is a great adventure for children. It’s like building a fort and camping out in the backyard. People commonly decorate their sukkot. It’s fun for the kids, often more fun than decorating a Christmas tree. Families hang harvest decorations and handmade artwork from the walls.

During the course of the seven days of sukkot, it is appropriate to eat one’s meals in the sukkah, and if the climate permits, to sleep at night inside the sukkah. Hosting guests in the sukkah for special holiday meals is a big part of the festival. It’s a great time of fellowship.

The sukkot is a time of joy and celebration, a time to celebrate the harvest and revel in God’s goodness. The festival of sukkot comes at harvest time. The joyous mood of sukkot is a dramatic shift from the solemn and austere tone of the high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The celebration of sukkot is so joyous that Jewish liturgy often refers to it as “the season of our rejoicing.” The commandment to move outside of one’s comfortable zone and live in a booth is meant to remind us that God is our provider, sustainer and protector. On the cycle of sanctification, sukkot is an annual opportunity to revel in God’s goodness and take delight in our redemption.

Go online: www.ffoz.org/contact

First Fruits of Zion, PO Box 649, Marshfield, MO 65706-0649 USA

Telephone 417 468 2741, Toll-free 800 775 4807, Fax 417 468 2745

The temporary shelter is referred to as a sukkah (סוכה), which is the singular form of the plural word sukkot. A traditional sukkah must have at least two and a half walls made from virtually any material. The walls don’t have to be solid. They could be plywood, canvas, latticework or just about anything. One wall can be part of a permanent structure. For example, the wall of a garage would work. The rest of the booth has to be temporary and disassembled after the festival.

The sukkah booth can be any size, so long as it is large enough for the family to eat and sleep in. The roof of the sukkah is supposed to be covered with some sort of foliage or vegetation that grows from the ground: tree branches, cornstalks, bamboo reeds, sticks or even lumber. The roof material has to provide adequate shade yet be sparse enough so rain can get in and stars can be seen through it. The sukkah should leave a person vulnerable to the elements.

The process of building and living in a sukkah is a great adventure for children. It’s like building a fort and camping out in the backyard. People commonly decorate their sukkot. It’s fun for the kids, often more fun than decorating a Christmas tree. Families hang harvest decorations and handmade artwork from the walls.

During the course of the seven days of sukkot, it is appropriate to eat one’s meals in the sukkah, and if the climate permits, to sleep at night inside the sukkah. Hosting guests in the sukkah for special holiday meals is a big part of the festival. It’s a great time of fellowship.

The sukkot is a time of joy and celebration, a time to celebrate the harvest and revel in God’s goodness. The festival of sukkot comes at harvest time. The joyous mood of sukkot is a dramatic shift from the solemn and austere tone of the high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The celebration of sukkot is so joyous that Jewish liturgy often refers to it as “the season of our rejoicing.” The commandment to move outside of one’s comfortable zone and live in a booth is meant to remind us that God is our provider, sustainer and protector. On the cycle of sanctification, sukkot is an annual opportunity to revel in God’s goodness and take delight in our redemption.

Shalom! Chag sameach! See ya next time!

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