Sukkot: How We Can Live in Unity Despite Our Differences
Do you know the one holy day that the entire world will celebrate in Messianic times? According to the prophet Zechariah, it’s the Festival of Tabernacles, or as it’s called in Hebrew, Sukkot (Zechariah 4:16.). Unity among all God’s children is a major theme of this joyous celebration that is part of the High Holy Days that Jews around the world have been observing. In continuing her series on the High Holy Days, podcast host Yael Eckstein, President and CEO of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, looks to the lessons of Sukkot on practical ways to bring us together. In a world that is increasingly divided, this powerful episode teaches us the spirit and essence of Sukkot encourages a spirit of unity that can bring goodness, pleasantness, and blessings to our lives in the long run.
During the Festival of Tabernacles, or Sukkot, the Jewish people turn to the Bible for clarity on the main purpose of the holiday. On today’s episode, podcast host Yael Eckstein, President and CEO of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, explores the Bible verse that tells the Jewish people to build a temporary shelter, or “sukkah,” and live in it for seven days.
God instructs His people: “On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days” (Leviticus 23:40).
One reason the Jewish people build these shelters, these sukkot, is to remember how God cared for His people in the desert when He brought them out of Egypt. He provided shelter and protected them. In the same way, while we may have our sturdy, comfortable and secure homes, we should remember that God is the source of our protection, and not anything else.
The other purpose of building these temporary homes is to host guests and welcome others to enjoy food and soulful singing. Why? Because on Sukkot, the Jewish people remember the power of unity and how important it is to bring people together.
Yael unpacks the biblical teachings of Sukkot that promote unity, and based on these teachings, she gives us three practical ways to encourage a spirit of unity in our lives—not just on Sukkot, but all year round. While these three ways to bring unity require us to overlook the differences and disagreements that usually divide us, Yael explains that when we do, God promises that goodness, pleasantness, and blessings will follow!