Sukkot, a Hebrew word meaning “booths” or “huts,” refers to the Jewish festival of giving thanks for the fall harvest. It also commemorates the 40 years of Jewish wandering in the desert after the giving of the Torah atop Mt. Sinai. Sukkot is celebrated five days after Yom Kippur, on the 15th of the month of Tishrei, and is marked by several distinct traditions. One, which takes the commandment to dwell in booths literally, is to erect a sukkah, a small, temporary booth or hut. Sukkot (in this case, the plural of sukkah) are commonly used during the seven-day festival for eating, entertaining, and even for sleeping. Sukkot, also called Z’man Simchateinu (Season of Our Rejoicing), is the only festival associated with an explicit commandment to rejoice. A final name for Sukkot is Chag HaAsif, (Festival of the Ingathering), representing a time to give thanks for the bounty of the earth during the fall harvest. Each year, with efforts from the Brotherhood and our NVHC congregants, we construct our sukkah next to the Preschool playground. Often, Tot Shabbat, Kehilat Limmud, our youth groups, or other NVHC constituents will take advantage of Northern Virginia’s beautiful fall weather and eat or spend time together in our sukkah. So, if bright Sukkot morning dawns, bring a cup of coffee and a fresh croissant, and enjoy!
In 5780/2019, we invited everyone to celebrate Sukkot in the homes of our clergy! Our Sukkot Open Houses encouraged us to celebrate outside the synagogue, and come together as a community to share in the joy and bounty of the season.
We also have our annual S’mores and Singing in the Sukkah event, where we sing songs, roast s’mores, and delight in being able to be outside together.