SECRETS: Sukkot Part 2 | D’Chasadim (The Light of Mercy) | How Does It Work?
October 12, 2022
Abe Hardoon is a new teacher at Vital Transformation.
Sukkot[a] is a Torah-commanded holiday celebrated for seven days from the 15th day of the month of Tishrei. It is one of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals (Hebrew: שלוש רגלים, shalosh regalim) on which those Israelites who could were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.
The names used in the Torah are Chag HaAsif, translated to "Festival of Ingathering" or "Harvest Festival", and Chag HaSukkot, translated to "Festival of Booths". This corresponds to the double significance of Sukkot. The one mentioned in the Book of Exodus is agricultural in nature—"Festival of Ingathering at the year’s end" (Exodus 34:22)—and marks the end of the harvest time and thus of the agricultural year in the Land of Israel. The more elaborate religious significance from the Book of Leviticus is that of commemorating the Exodus and the dependence of the People of Israel on the will of God (Leviticus 23:42–43). It is also sometimes called the "Feast of Tabernacles."
The holiday lasts seven days in the Land of Israel and eight in the diaspora. The first day (and second day in the diaspora) is a Shabbat-like holiday when work is forbidden. This is followed by intermediate days called Chol Hamoed, when certain work is permitted. The festival is closed with another Shabbat-like holiday called Shemini Atzeret (one day in the Land of Israel, two days in the diaspora, where the second day is called Simchat Torah). Shemini Atzeret coincides with the eighth day of Sukkot outside the Land of Israel.