Holidays > Sukkot & Simchat Torah
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Israel’s has a fine selection of 4 species kits, sukkot, decorations, toys and books about the holidays. For Simchat Torah, we have stuffed Torahs, flags and books for children. Browse our selections by scrolling down.
Sukkot-literally “booths”- is one of 3 Jewish pilgrimage holidays in the Jewish calendar (the others being Passover and Shavuot), falling on the fifteenth day of Tishrei. Right after Yom Kippur, one is obligated to build a temporary dwelling or hut outside of their home. For the 7 days of Sukkot (“Chol hamoed”), one eats, sleeps and dwells in their sukkah (“booth”). This time is a remembrance of the 40 years that the Jews dwelt in the desert after the exodus from Egypt. In the times of the Temple, one was obligated to go to Jerusalem and being sacrifices to the Temple. During Sukkot, blessings are made in the sukkah over foods and the waving of the four species or “Arba minim.” The arba minim consists of a Lulav (date palm), an Etrog (citron), Hadassim (myrtle branch) and Aravot (willow branch). These are waved in the 4 directions, as well as up and down in recognition of God’s power over nature. The 4 species are often looked at as composite elements of what a person requires to fulfill mitzvoth (commandments).
The lulav is seen as the spine, the hadass as the eye, the willow is seen as the mouth and the etrog is, of course, the heart.For each night of Sukkot, a different leader of the Jewish people is invited into the sukkah: Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Moshe, Aharon, Yosef and David are all invited with beautiful song.
The time of sukkot is referred to as “Zman simchateinu,” translated as “Our happy time.” It is one of the most joyous holidays of the year and is particularly fun for children.Following Sukkot is the holiday of Shemini Atzeret (The eighth day of assembly, when the Prayer for Rain is recited) which is after the 7 days of Sukkot. Then, after Shemini Atzeret, Simchat Torah (Rejoicing in the Torah) is celebrated. On the night of Simchat Torah, the Torah scrolls removed from the ark and the congregation dances with them in “Hakafot” (circuit around the bimah, or lectern). In the morning, the last portion of the Torah is read and a first one begun, closing the cycle of year’s Torah portions, and beginning it anew. This, too, is a very joyous time and children are a big part of the celebration.
Sukkot & Simchat Torah
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