Those who belong to the Most High are commanded to meet with Him on His moedim, His appointed times. These are the traditional readings for the first day of Sukkot. We should remain firmly rooted in the Word and the ways of the Lord.
As with all the moedim, Sukkot has several traditions associated with it. While some believer dismiss traditional observances as mere "traditions of men", we should be like the Bereans and consider what Scripture says about tradition.
Most of the traditions are performed in or around the sukkah.
- The sabbath moedim of the first and last days are celebrated for two days each in the Diaspora.
- The six days in between the first and seventh days are called chol ha moed [literally "sand" or "commonness" of the festival].
- Fasting is traditionally forbidden during the days between Yom Kippur through the end of Sukkot. It is supposed to be a joyous time.
- Each person's sukkah should be constructed during the days between Yom Kippur and the day before Sukkot.
- A traditional blessing is recited as Sukkot begins:
Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha‑olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu leishev ba‑sukah.
Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to dwell in the sukkah.
- The "four species" [arba minim] are traditionally understood to be:
- The yellow citron fruit which is also called an etrog (the fruit of "beautiful trees")
- A large stem of palm branches
- Two boughs of leafy trees (aravah)
- Three boughs of brook willows (hadass)
- The four species are grouped in two: the three boughs (lulav) and the single fruit (etrog).
The image at right shows the woven lulav holders containing the three boughs.
- Each morning the lulav and etrog are taken in hand and traditional blessings are recited including the Hallel (Psalms 113-118).
- Within some Messianic communities it has become a tradition to watch the movie Ushpizin which is set during the festival of Sukkot.
- It has become tradition within some Messianic communities to completely leave home and go camping for the eight days of Sukkot.
- The eighth day of Sukkot is called Sh'mini Atzeret (the eighth [day of] assembly).
Traditional Readings for Sh'mini Atzeret
These are the traditional readings for the eighth day of Sukkot known as sh'mini atzeret: the eighth day of assembly.