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Chag Sameach!”  Is the traditional greeting during the holiday of Sukkot. We wish each
other a “happy festival.” There are three festivals that the Torah commands us to observe throughout the year, the other two being Passover and Shavuot. Sukkot is also called by two other names, Zeman Simchateinu, meaning “the Season of our Joy” and Chag Ha’asif, “the Festival of In-gathering.” Chag Ha’asif  reminds us of the agricultural nature of this holiday and Israel’s historical reliance on rain in its proper season. It is for similar reasons that during this time we engage in the ritual of waving the lulav v’etrog.

When we dwell in the Sukkah today it is a reminder of the ancient Israelites living in temporary booths during the fall harvest. In addition, some say our sukkot are a reminder of the temporary dwellings of the Israelites as they wandered in the desert. Whether we eat, sleep, study or relax in our own, the Temple’s or  in someone else’s sukkah as an invited guest, may we find joy in connecting our Jewish present with our Jewish past.

Chag Sameach,
Rabbi Bellush