Chag Sameach! Happy Holiday!
When passing by a fellow Jew during Sukkot, make sure to greet them with a smile on your face! All you have to do is say, “Chag Sameach!” We are instructed, taught, and even commanded to be happy. But what are the rules of Sukkot that help us reach the point of rejoicing?
Cleansing Your Body and Soul
The rules for Sukkot are pretty straightforward. We need to “cleanse your body and soul.” Sukkot is one of the “Shalosh Regalim,” meaning one of the three Jewish holidays that have to do with agriculture. To put things in a clearer perspective, think of Thanksgiving. It is a time to appreciate everything you have and G-d gave you. It is a time to rejoice under the stars and say Brachot in the Sukkah.
Acknowledge G-d and the World He Created
Sukkot is the time to acknowledge G-d and the world He created. Also, our building and living in a Sukkah are meant to help us remember that life is fragile. We are leaving our permanent homes, the home that we might have just completed construction on or the home that you just fully furnished, and we enter the home that G-d commanded us to create thousands of years ago in the desert. For 40 years, our ancestors did not have a permanent home; they were constantly traveling. So G-d showed them what to do. G-d is the Jewish people’s home. Sukkot is a reminder of that.
Dwell for Eight Days
Jews are commanded to dwell in the Sukkah for eight days (7 if you live in Israel), which means to eat and spend quality time in it. Some people even create a bed and sleep in the Sukkah overnight. If we are trying to connect to our ancestors and G-d, then why not sleep in the Sukkah!
Shake the Lulav and Etrog
Another rule of Sukkot is shaking the Lulav and Etrog, which the Rabbis commanded as the “Arbat Ha’Minim,” the four plant species that should be put together. The plants chosen were all mentioned in the Bible which are the Etrog (fruit of a citron tree), the Lulav (palm), the Hadas (myrtle tree), and the Aravah (willow tree). Once all of these plants are held together, you recite the brachah and shake them in 6 directions, proclaiming that G-d is everywhere all at the same time.
Everyone’s Favorite; Food!
How can we not mention the food! While preparing a meal to eat in the Sukkah with family and friends, you should keep in mind some traditional Jewish foods. The iconic ones, of course, are chicken soup, kugel, hummus, and challah. Some Jews were brought up with the tradition of eating Kreplach, which is dumplings. Overall, the food should remind you of Sukkot, so if that means going apple picking the day before and making a fruit salad, go right ahead! There are so many modern menu options to explore. Pick up one of the many recent kosher cookbooks that have recently been published and experiment. Doesn’t a spicy Moroccan fish and Israeli salad sound delicious? How about grilled rosemary pargiyot? Let’s finish the meal with salted dark chocolate almond truffles and a hot cup of mint tea? Now just have fun with it!
Traveling for Sukkot
If you are traveling for Sukkot, take the stress out and enjoy yourself at our Portofino, Italy Sukkot hotel and program! Contact Leisure Time Tours today to learn more.