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Chol Hamoed Sukkoth
15 OCT 2011
Intermediate Days of Sukkoth
Numbers 29:12 - 16
Lev.23:33 - 43
Ezekiel 38:18 - 39:16
John 7:10 - 19; 37 - 39
1st Thes. 5:1 - 11
the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you gather in the crops of
the land, you shall celebrate HaShem’s festival for a seven-day period;
the first day is a rest day and the eighth day is a rest day. You
shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of a citron tree,
the branches of date palms, twigs of a plaited tree and brook willows,
and you shall rejoice before HaShem, your G-d, for a seven-day period.
Sukkot is the last of the three festivals during which the Jewish people
were to come up to Jerusalem and rejoice before Him. All three
represent G-d’s love for Israel as a nation and for all nations.
Passover is remembered as the day of our freedom. On Shavuot we are
reminded of the giving of the Torah. Sukkot reminds us of our
miraculous passage in the wilderness where G-d preserved us in the
“booths of glory” (cloud of glory).
Also, Sukkot is the harvest festival celebrating the end of the
agricultural year before winter is upon us.
In ancient days, seventy bulls were sacrificed during the holiday as a
way to bring blessings to the other nations. Moreover, Zechariah wrote
that in the Messianic age, all nations would make an annual pilgrimage
to Jerusalem to observe this Feast of Tabernacles or they would have no
rain for the coming season (Zech 14:16).
There are many symbols of the Feast of Sukkot:
Booths, Sukkot, are to built and we are to “dwell” in them
The four species (Leviticus 23:40) are the lulav (palm branch), which
represents the spine, the myrtle representing the eye, the willow that
represents the mouth and the citron (etrog) representing the heart. All
these together represent one united people who say, “All my bones shall
say, Lord who is like you!” (Psalm 35:10). The sages say that these
four species not only represent parts of the body, but different
attitudes and degrees of observing G-d’s commandments. All these types
of people though, are enjoined to “sup” with G-d in His Sukkah. There
shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for
a place of refuge, and for a cover from the storm and from rain (Isaiah
One tradition during this season is called ushpizin, in which
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David and Aaron are invited to
come into the sukkah. We are enjoined to invite our neighbors, the
public, to our synagogues to show G-d’s love, for it was His love,
(clouds of glory) which brought us forth through the wilderness.
Now, Yeshua is our Rock. His living water (mayim chayim) is
available to all. The King is inviting all who would come to sup and
drink freely from the well of salvation, which will never run out (Luke
14:16-23, John 4:14).
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