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Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles, is one of the Jewish Pilgrim festivals along with Pesach and Shavuot. The joyous celebration begins on Tishri 15, the fifth day after Yom Kippur, as they commemorate the journey of ancient Jews to the Promised Land.
See the fact file below for more information on the Sukkot or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Sukkot worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Etymology and Scriptural Background
- The term ‘sukkot’ means ‘huts’ or ‘booths’ in other biblical translations. This Jewish festival came from a Canaanite agricultural celebration, which was an important transition from the most solemn observance of the high holy day, Yom Kippur.
- According to Leviticus 23:42, “You shall dwell in sukkot seven days… in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite people live in sukkot when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I the Lord your God.”
- Sukkot is commonly referred to as the Feast of Tabernacles and is celebrated for seven days. Work is not permitted on the first and second days of the holiday. On the remaining days, called Chol HaMoed, the intermediate days of the Passover, Jews are allowed to work.
- Aside from Leviticus, the books of Nehemiah and Zechariah also have detailed ways to observe Sukkot.
Traditional and Modern Observances
- In ancient times, Sukkot was one of the bloodiest Jewish holidays because of sacrificed animals like bulls, sheep and deer. These sacrificed animals were traditionally eaten by priests in the Temple of Jerusalem.
- Another primary practice during this holiday is the building of a sukkah or booth as instructed in Leviticus. This temporary shelter reminds Jewish people of the time their ancestors spent wandering the wilderness after fleeing Egypt.
- On the second day of Sukkot, Jewish people including women and children were encouraged to attend the public reading of the Torah by the king in the Temple of Jerusalem. This tradition ended after the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans.
- Another way to observe Sukkot is through the four species (Arba Minim) or symbols, including etrog (citron), lulav (closed frond of a palm tree), hadas (myrtle), and aravah (branches of willow).
- These species are ceremoniously shaken during the holiday. Lulav is the only identifiable species written in Leviticus while the others only emerged after the babylonian captivity.
- In the book of Nehemiah, branches of either olive, pine, or myrtle along with palm fronds were used to build booths.
- Today, Jews collect and bind together the six branches comprised of one palm branch, two willow branches, and three myrtle branches. With an etrog on one hand, the branches are waved in different directions during the Hallel prayer to symbolize that God is everywhere. On the seventh day known as Hoshana Rabbah, the species are taken around the synagogue seven times.
- After the circuits, the willow branches are beaten against the floor five times. Which symbolize the desire for rainfall.
- Every day of Sukkot, Jews need to do Hallel prayers after the traditional morning prayers. The prayer is a verbatim text of Psalms 113-118. Hallel is also recited on the eve of Passover during seder.
- Other ways to celebrate Sukkot are through eating meals and camping out in the sukkah, storytelling of scriptures about the years spent by the Israelites in the desert, performing Sukkah songs and dances, and decorating the sukkah. In many synagogues, large sukkah are built for communal meals and celebrations.
- Unlike Pesach, there is no traditional Sukkot food except for kreplach, or stuffed dumplings. The ingredients should be related to the harvest and include fruits and vegetables. Traditional Jewish food like challah, chicken soup and kugel are also served.
Important Jewish Terms Related to Sukkot
- The Book of Exodus is a part of the Old Testament, which details the agricultural origin of celebrating Sukkot. The plagues that devastated the land of Egypt and the emancipation of enslaved Israelites by Moses are also written here.
- The Book of Leviticus contains the commands by God to Moses on how people should celebrate Sukkot.
- Hoshana Rabbah refers to the seventh day of Sukkot wherein Jewish worshippers walk around the synagogue while holding the lulav and etrog.
- A sukkah is a temporary booth made of specific branches, which can last for seven days. Jewish families eat in the sukkah for the rest of Sukkot.
- Hoshanot is the special prayer recited by worshippers while walking around the synagogue.
- Ushpizin prayer is recited to invite one of the seven exalted guests into the sukkah. It represents the seven shepherds of Israel, namely Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph and David.
- Aside from the Five Books of Moses, the Torah refers to all traditional Jewish learning, which is read and practiced during Sukkot.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Sukkot across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Sukkot worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles, which is one of the Jewish Pilgrim festivals along with Pesach and Shavuot. The joyous celebration begins on Tishri 15, the fifth day after Yom Kippur, as they commemorate the journey of ancient Jews to the Promised Land.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Sukkot Facts
- Feast of Booths
- Mark the Holiday
- That’s the Word!
- Collecting Arba Minim
- Jewish Pilgrim Festivals
- A Sukkah
- Books of Moses
- Sukkot Hunt
- Let’s Celebrate!
- Guide to Sukkot
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Link will appear as Sukkot Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 8, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.