Today is the first day of one of my favorite Jewish festivals... Sukkot, or the feast of tabernacles. Let's just say that compared to our fall holiday... Halloween, the Jews know how to party! The Feast of Tabernacles is sometimes referred to the "Festival of Joy" and the Talmud actually says, "He who has not beheld this celebration has never seen joy in his life." As Christians, some say the party we'll have with Jesus in heaven, some call the marriage supper, is actually a form of this festival. I hear the priests lead the congregation in dancing... think about that one. Jesus bustin' a move!
Sukkot lasts about a week and the more orthodox Jews build temporary outdoor living/dining areas in their yards. In Israel, my good friend Katie tells me that many people actually move into their shelters and tents, but you don't see much of that here.
The holiday helps them remember and celebrate the 40 years that they wandered in the wilderness and God's goodness in providing all their needs, despite being a huge band of people in the desert. There is an emphasis on water, light, and the use of fragrant and fruitbearing branches. Biblically, during Sukkot was when Jesus announced that He is both "Living Water" and the "Light of the World". It's fascinating to me, it really is.
Acacia's waking up from her nap now, but if you are interested, you can read more here. Check out the articles on the right side of the page for even more info.