Joy on Succot

From: Anna Dear Rabbi, Would you please elaborate on the mitzva of rejoicing on Succot? Dear Anna, When the Temple stood, there was a special ceremony of rejoicing called “simchat beit hashoeva” which was associated with the drawing of water for the purpose of the special Succot water-libation and involved dancing by firelight throughout the[…]

Shade of Faith

From: Gary Dear Rabbi, Why is the holiday of Succot and the succah associated with happiness? Personally I view being exposed to the elements or other dangers to be unsettling, at the least. Dear Gary, The way of the nations is not the way of Israel. It is the way of most people to feel[…]

Beautiful Succah

From: Melissa Dear Rabbi, I know it’s a mitzvah to build the succah, which in our home the men and boys usually do, but it’s usually the women and girls who do the decorating. Is the decorating of the succah also a mitzva? Dear Melissa, Decorating the succah is definitely a very important part of[…]

Rich Succah Poor Succah

From: Steven Dear Rabbi, If the succah is about rejoicing before G‑d with the bounty of one’s harvest, what message does it have for the poor, or for those with little harvest? Dear Steven, This is a very interesting question! But certainly the Torah has a message for all. Let’s see in more detail what[…]

Succot Sevens

From: Mark in TX Dear Rabbi, I remember something about the occurrence of the number seven in connection with the Succot Holiday. Would you please refresh my childhood memory? Dear Mark, Succot occurs in the month of Tishrei, which is the seventh month of the year. Like other sevens in Judaism, this indicates the elevated[…]

Succot Sacrifices

From: Sam in L.A. Dear Rabbi, What is the significance of the different sacrificial offerings that were offered during Succot? Why are they different each day, and does the fact that there were seventy mean anything? Thanks. Dear Sam, The Torah prescribes special sacrifices for each of the days of Succot (Nu. 29:13-20). On the[…]

At Home in the Succah

From: Jenny in Newport Dear Rabbi, I understand that we are to consider the succah as our permanent dwelling during the festival, while our houses are to be considered of secondary importance. For this reason, we are to eat, sleep and otherwise be in the succah as we normally dwell in our homes. My question[…]