Chag Sameach (or Happy Holiday) to everyone! Thank you to Dannie and Jeff for your great insights on the holiday of Sukkot and the Sukkah. While it follows the solemn holiday of Yom Kippur, Sukkot is a celebratory holiday. Sukkot originated as a harvest festival, with the crop’s first fruits brought to the Temple in Jerusalem as an offering to G-d.
So what is the deal with this Sukkah thing outside of Hillel? Sukkah is often translated as booth and is the hut that is constructed on the holiday of Sukkot to symbolize the shelters used by Jews in the wilderness after being freed from Egypt. The Book of Leviticus (23:42–43) portrays God as commanding: “You shall dwell in booths for seven days…that your generations may know that I made the Children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt.” According to halakha, a sukkah is a structure consisting of a roof made of organic material which has been disconnected from the ground (the S'chach). A sukkah must have 3 walls. It should be at least three feet tall, and be positioned so that all or part of its roof is open to the sky. Fun Fact: only the part which is under the sky is kosher. (taken from Wikipedia - Sukkot)
If you are interested in having a meal in the sukkah, please join us tonight for Shabbat. Traditional, Conservative, and Reform services will begin at 7:30pm followed by a delicious and FREE (thanks to our generous donors) kosher Shabbat dinner at 8:45pm in the Sukkah! There will also be be seating inside as well. We hope that you will join us for an oneg after dinner sponsored by Torah Advancement Project. You can see more details about their event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/201676166631138/
And don’t forget to join us on Monday, October 8 at 7:30 pm for a Simchat Torah celebration as well. Following a brief, ruach (spirit)-filled service there will be dancing and singing with the Torah as we mark the end of one reading cycle before beginning another. Rabbi Gail will be leading a NY-style Simchat Torah you don't want to miss! And if you're lucky, you might even get the chance to carry the Torah!
For information about all of these programs and more, please visit UFHillel on facebook or you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shabbat Shalom, Good Yontiv, and Go Gators!