Immediately following the awesome days of Rosh Hashana through Yom
Kippur, we prepare for the joyous exuberance of Sukkot - the "Season
of our Rejoicing."
After leaving Egypt, during the forty years of wandering in the
wilderness, the Jewish people were surrounded by protective "clouds
In commemoration, and to enhance our awareness of G-d's all-embracing
love and protection, we are commanded, "In Sukkahs (booths) you shall
dwell, seven days" (Leviticus 23:42).
A Unique Mitzvah
Eating festive meals and spending time in the outdoor Sukkah is
a delightful and unique religious experience.
Some have the custom of decorating the Sukkah with elaborate
ornaments; others prefer to preserve its unadorned simplicity.
But whatever one's style, the Sukkah is the only Mitzvah in which we
are completely surrounded, from head to toe, by the Mitzvah itself --
enveloped, as it were, in the divine presence.
For Universal Peace
When the Jewish people rejoice, our hearts go out to the whole world.
In the days of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, the Sukkot Festival
offerings included seventy oxen, corresponding to the seventy nations
-- in prayer for their well-being, and for peace and harmony among
the nations of the world.