INTERFAITH INITIATIVE

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT:

Sukkot FAQs

1. What is Sukkot (September 20-27)?

Sukkot, a week-long Jewish Holiday that comes five days after Yom Kippur, celebrates the gathering of the harvest and commemorates the miraculous protection. Sukkot is the plural form of the Hebrew word sukkah, which means a temporary dwelling such as a tent, booth, or hut. English translations of the Bible typically refer to the holiday as the Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of Booths. The sukkah represents the temporary dwellings in which the Israelites lived while wandering in the desert after the Lord brought them out of Egypt. 

2. What are the modern traditions of Sukkot?

The main Sukkot tradition is to build a temporary structure, known as a sukkah. The sukkah can be made of different materials, although there are Jewish traditions regulating its construction to show the transient nature of the building. Each sukkah must have at least two walls, because the inhabitants must “dwell” in the structure for a week (Lev. 23:42). Tradition defines “dwelling” as eating the daily meals in the sukkah, but it is also common to sleep in the sukkah in climates and circumstances where it is possible to do so.

The top of the sukkah is covered with a natural material, such as palm fronds. The roof should allow the inhabitants to view the stars from within the sukkah, in order to remember the Israelites’ journey through the desert. It is customary to welcome guests into the sukkah to join in the celebration. Welcoming of guests recalls Abraham’s hospitality when he welcomed guests into his tent.

During Sukkot, Jewish people also wave the four species the lulav and etrog.

3. What kinds of foods are eaten on Sukkot?

There are no traditional foods eaten on Sukkot except for kreplach (stuffed dumplings). Sukkot meal inspiration can come from the harvest origin of the holiday, and meals can include fresh fruits and vegetables, or other harvest-related ingredients. Of course, challah, chicken soup, and kugels are traditional Jewish foods that can be served on Sukkot (or any time of the year).

4. What are the four species of the Lulav? 

According to Jewish mysticism, each attribute of these four species, which are all bound and waved together, have a special meaning.

  • The etrog has a good taste and fragrance and represents a person with both Torah knowledge and good deeds.
  • The myrtle has a good fragrance but cannot be eaten and represents a person who does good deeds but lacks Torah wisdom.
  • The date palm is edible but has not smell and represents a person with Torah wisdom not no good deeds.
  • The willow has neither taste or smell and represents a person devoid of both positive attributes.

Useful phrases

Impress your Jewish colleagues and friends or simply stop a stranger in the street and rattle off a few of these (reasonably) easy to use phrases during Sukkot:

Chag Sameach = Happy Sukkot

Hallel = Praise+

Iulav = palm branch

Shemini Atzeret = the Eight Day of Gathering

Zman Simchateinu = the time of our rejoicing

Source: Chosen People Ministries

INTERFAITH CALENDAR

*The Interfaith room is located on the 3rd floor of the Gatton Student Center. 

Fall 2021 COMPREHENSIVE RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS  CALENDAR

1-Sept Tuesday Ecclesiastical Year Begins Orthodox Christian
8-Sept Tuesday Nativity of Virgin Mary Christian
14-Sept Monday Elevation of the Life Giving Cross (Holy Cross) Christian
19-20 Sept Saturday-Sunday Rosh Hashanah Jewish
21-Sept Monday Paryushana Parva Jain
23-Sept Wednesday Equinox Wicca/Pagan
27-Sept Sunday Meskel Ethiopian Orthodox Christian
28-Sept Monday Yom Kippur Jewish
29-Sept Tuesday Michael and All Angels Christian
3-9 Oct Saturday-Friday Sukkot Jewish
4-Oct Sunday

St. Francis Day

Catholic Christian
10-Oct Saturday Shemini Atzeret Jewish
11-Oct Sunday Simchat Torah Jewish
12-Oct Monday Thanksgiving - Canada Interfaith
17-24 Oct Saturday Navaratri Hindu
18-Oct Sunday St. Luke, Apostle, & Evangelist Christian
20-Oct Tuesday Birth of the Bab Baha'i
22-Oct Thursday Christ the King Christian
25-Oct Sunday Reformation Day Protestant Christian
28-Oct Wednesday Milvian Bridge Day Christian
29-Oct Thursday Mawlid an Nabi Islam
31-Oct Saturday All Hallows Eve Christian
1-Nov Sunday All Saints Day Christian
2-Nov Monday All Souls Day Catholic Christian
12-Nov Thursday Birth of Baha'u'llah Baha'i
13-Nov Friday Jain New Year Jain
14-Nov Saturday Diwali (Deepavail) Hindu-Jain-Sikh
15-Nov Sunday Vikram New Year Hindu
21-Nov Sunday Christ the King Christian
24-Nov Wednesday Martydom of Guru Tegh Bahdur Sikh
25-Nov Thursday Thanksgiving Interfaith USA
27-Nov Saturday Ascension of 'Abdu'l-Baha Baha'i
28-Nov Sunday Avent Begins Christian
28 Nov - 24 Dec Sunday-Friday Advent Begins Christian
30-Nov Monday Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Sahib Sikh
6-Dec Monday  Saint Nicholas Day Christian
8-Dec Tuesday Bodhi Day (Rohatsu) Buddhism
11-18 Dec Friday Hanukkah Jewish
12-Dec Saturday Feast Day-Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Christian
16-25 Dec Wednesday-Friday Posadas Navidenas Hispanic Christian
21-Dec Monday Solstice (Yule) Christian
24-Dec Thursday Christmas Eve Christian
25-Dec Friday Christmas Christian
26-Dec Saturday Zarathosht Diso (Death of Prophet Zarathushtra)  Zoroastrian
27-Dec Sunday Saint John-Apostle and Evangelist Christian
28-Dec Tuesday Holy Innocents Christian
31-Dec Friday  Watch Night Christian

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