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The holiday of Sukkot, which the Torah calls the most joyous of all our festivals, begins on Sunday evening, September 27 and concludes with the celebration of Simchat Torah on Tuesday, October 6. We light the holiday candles on Sunday and Monday evening.
Recite the following blessings:
I. Boruch Atoh Ado-nai, Elo-hei-nu Melech HaOlom, Asher Kidishonu B’Mitzvosov, Vitzivanu, L’hadlik Ner Shel Yom Tov.
Blessed are You, L-rd Our G-d, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with your commandments and commanded us to kindle the holiday lights.
II. Boruch Atoh Ado-nai Elo-hei-nu Melech HaOlam, Shehecheyanu, Vekymonu, Vehegyonu, Lazman Hazeh.
Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who has kept us alive and preserved us, and enabled us to reach this season.
THE MITZVAH OF DWELLING IN THE SUKKAH
During this time, we are commanded to depart from the permanent shelter of our homes to take up residence in a sukkah - a fragile temporary dwelling. If ever there was a time when this mitzvah speaks to us most poignantly, it is today. The sukkah teaches us that our protection and security cannot be found in structures of brick and stone, but through G-d. Sitting in our fragile sukkah’s, we are infused with strength in the knowledge that G-d`s loving care and guidance are ever-present, and as fearsome and hazardous as the world has become we are never alone -- He is always there.
This lesson of faith was imbibed by our forefathers who dwelt in sukkah’s as they journeyed through the desert to the Promised Land. And it has been reinforced throughout the centuries; G-d has sheltered us in His sukkah and shall continue to do so. We need only have faith.
USHPIZIN – GUESTS
G-d grants permission for seven holy guests to join us in our sukkah’s. They are Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, and David. To be worthy of welcoming these guests, we invite our own guests and unite with friends in the Sukkah to enjoy the spirit and sanctity of the holiday.
THE FOUR SPECIES
The Torah commands us to make a blessing on the four species (lulav, esrog, myrtle and willow) which symbolize the unity of the Jewish people and the total commitment of each and every individual to the service of G-d. We make this blessing every day throughout the festival except for the Sabbath.
Wednesday, September 30 through Friday, October 2 is the intermediate days of the festival. On Sunday, October 4, we celebrate Hoshanna Rabbah, which is akin to Yom Kippur, and we once again appeal to G-d to inscribe us for a good year. On Monday, October 5, we recite the Yizkor - Memorial prayer, and on Tuesday, October 6, we celebrate Simchat Torah.