Hebrew Highlights 72 – FEAST OF BOOTHS
Shalom. This is Yuval Shomron, coming to you from Jerusalem.
LEV 23:34, 39-43, "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the Lord. On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord for seven days, with a rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth day. Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall live in booths for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.' "
Today in Israel we still celebrate “Succot”, the Feast of Booths, also know as the Feast of Tabernacles. At the root of the word “Succot” is the noun “schach” which means thatch. As the holiday approaches, the Father, and any able sons, gather boughs from Palm and other trees to put on the roof of their little booth, which is usually built out of a frame of wooden slats. Traditionally, one must be able to see a little light through the thatched roof.
Part of the colorful decorations in the booth include the 4 species.
· The etrog or citron has both good tasting fruit and good aroma. It represents those people who have a thorough knowledge of the Torah and also perform good deeds for others.
· The palm has good fruit but no aroma. It represents those people who have knowledge of the Torah but do not perform good deeds.
· The myrtle has pleasant aroma but it does not bear fruit. It represents those people who perform good deeds but do not have a good foundation in the Torah.
· The willow has neither fruit or aroma. It represents those people who have no knowledge of the Torah, nor do they perform good deeds.
Many scholars today believe that Succot is actually the season during which Yeshua was born, not December 25th. It is certainly a time for rejoicing as we see in DEU 16:13-16, "You shall celebrate the Feast of Booths seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine vat; and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns. Seven days you shall celebrate a feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you shall be altogether joyful. Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed.”
Not all of the feasts in Israel’s calendar invite the strangers, visitors, widows and orphans to take part. This is a very special time. Yeshua made a famous statement during Succot, as we read in JOH 7:37-38, “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.'" But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
Chag Succot semeach, happy holiday. May the fruit of your lives be both tasty and have a good aroma.
Shalom, Shalom , from Jerusalem.