Sukkot Resource List

The House on the Roof – Adler, David A.

Tamar’s Sukkah – Gelman, Elie

Tikvah Means Hope – Polacco, Patricia

List of Jewish Holiday Resources Available at the Aaron H. Leibtag Resource Center of the Center for Jewish Education
5800 Park Heights Avenue
(410) 578-6943

The Roots of Sukkot

We learn about the festival of Sukkot in the Torah, “The fifteenth day of the seventh month (Tishri) shall be a festival. You shall live in booths for seven days, so you may remember that the Jewish people lived in booths when they were freed from slavery in Egypt” (Leviticus 23:42-43). Today, many Jews build sukkot (booths) to fulfill this commandment and to remember the experiences of their ancestors.
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What To Do, What To Do!

Ideas to Make Your Sukkot Holiday Special

A popular custom, which began in the 16th century, is to ask guests, in the form of the Jewish forefathers, into one’s sukkah. The guests are called ushpizin, and include: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron and David. You can design your own poster showing the ushpizin for your sukkah walls.
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Did You Know?

Interesting Sukkot facts

The Israel Museum is home to one of the most unusual and beautiful sukkahs ever. It’s from 19th-century Germany, and it’s collapsible! The boards are carefully numbered and show scenes from Israel including Jerusalem and the Kotel.
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Make A Sukkah Mobile

Decorating the sukkah is lots of fun. Here’s an idea for a hanging mobile your children will enjoy looking at every time they eat or play in the sukkah.

You will need:

  • two wire coat hangers
  • two twist ties
  • tissue paper
  • adhesive tape
  • glue
  • rag
  • thread and needle
  • ribbon

Instructions:

  1. Cut ten strips of tissue paper between 1/2 inch and 1 inch wide, and about 12 inches long.
  2. Wrap the strips around the coat hangers.
  3. Apply glue at both ends of each strip to secure it to the hanger.
  4. Wrap each hanger in paper of a different color.
  5. Cross one hanger inside the other and tie them together at top and bottom.
  6. Make or buy popcorn and string it on as many threads as you wish. If you don’t want to use food, buy colorful beads or blocks or any other decorative item you wish.

This activity reprinted courtesy of http://www.everythingjewish.com.

The Festival Of Booths

A family’s sukkah can be their home away from home.

Like a collection of charming, if sometimes haphazard, larger-than-life boxes, sukkahs begin appearing outside Israeli homes soon after Yom Kippur. It’s almost a tradition, in fact, to start work on the booths hours after the fast is over.
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The Season of Rejoicing

If Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur prepare the mind for teshuvah, repentance, and help the soul achieve divine forgiveness, then Sukkot is like a congratulations party for the body after a long, spiritual journey.

Also called zeman simhateinu, the season of our rejoicing, Sukkot is about joy and giving thanks. When the children of Israel were wandering in the desert after leaving the slavery of Egypt, they had nothing with them except what they could carry. Their sole dependence was on their leaders and on God.
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What’s Shakin? The Lulav And Etrog

Leviticus 23:39-43 discusses the Children of Israel wandering about after the Exodus, and God directs Jews to live in sukkot in commemoration. But it’s not just a matter of building the temporary home. God also tells His people to take “the fruit of goodly trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of thick trees and willows of the brook to use to rejoice before the Lord. These, then, are the arba’ah minim, or four species, that form the lulav and the etrog.
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A Cozy Sukkot Dinner Under The Stars

Ilene Spector
Special to the Jewish Times

In Europe, just after the break-the-fast meal was over, Jews would proceed to hammer the first nail to begin building the sukkah.

Observant Jews today remember these makeshift huts by building similar structures out of wood, branches, harvest vines and fruits. The idea is to be open to the skies just like in biblical times, when the Jews left Egypt to wander the desert before reaching the Promised Land.
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A Cozy Harvest Celebration

Ilene Spector
Special to the Jewish Times

Sukkot is the Jewish Thanksgiving. The word, meaning booths, refers to the tents or temporary dwellings of the ancient Israelites who wandered in the desert in search of the promised land.

Later, the shelters also were used as harvesters’ huts before the onset of winter. So Sukkot has become a pilgrimage and harvest festival, and a time to rejoice after the solemnity of the High Holy Days.
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