I always thought of Sukkot as a Thanks Giving for the Jews.
It has the same elements. — With a few twists.
My kid loves sitting outside for dinner. We live in Texas, so it’s very much like Israel. WARM.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of devising a structure that is like the below picture. I don’t really think that the Israelites had elaborate tents either, so I do what I can. I have a canopy and use that. We just have a little picnic in my back yard. I talk about what Sukkot is and why it’s important. I talk about the desert and that we will go visit.
For forty years, as our ancestors traversed the Sinai Desert prior to their entry into the Holy Land, miraculous “clouds of glory” surrounded and hovered over them, shielding them from the dangers and discomforts of the desert. Ever since, we remember G-d’s kindness and reaffirm our trust in His providence by dwelling in a sukkah–a hut of temporary construction with a roof-covering of branches–for the duration of the Sukkot festival (Tishrei 15-21). For seven days and nights, we eat all our meals in the sukkah and otherwise regard it as our home.
Another Sukkot observance is the taking of the Four Kinds: an etrog (citron), a lulav (palm frond), at least three hadassim (myrtle twigs) and two aravot (willow twigs). On each day of the festival (excepting Shabbat), we take the Four Kinds, recite a blessing over them, bring them together in our hands and wave them in all six directions: right, left, forward, up, down and to the rear. The Midrash tells us that the Four Kinds represent the various types and personalities that comprise the community of Israel, whose intrinsic unity we emphasize on Sukkot.
Sukkot is also called The Time of Our Joy; indeed, a special joy pervades the festival. Nightly “Water-Drawing Celebrations,” reminiscent of the evening-to-dawn festivities held in the Holy Temple in preparation for the drawing of water for use in the festival service, fill the synagogues and streets with song, music and dance until the wee hours of the morning.
The seventh day of Sukkot is called Hoshaana Rabbah (“Great Salvation”) and closes the period of Divine judgment begun on Rosh Hashanah. A special observance is the Aravah–the taking of a bundle of willow branches.
For more about Sukkot, visit the Sukkot megasite where you’ll find everything from a simple, straight-forward how-to guide to Sukkot observances, to profound insights into the significance of the festival from the wells of Chassidic wisdom.
This is from CHABAD.ORG