Why Do Jews Live in Makeshift Huts Every Year? Why Do Jews Live in Makeshift Huts Every Year?

Why Do Jews Live in Makeshift Huts Every Year?

Just as the weather begins to turn colder, Jews around the world leave the comfort of their homes to spend a week living outdoors in huts composed of wood or canvas, with a flimsy roof made of branches or leaves. Purposefully, they expose themselves to the elements of nature as they live in their sukkah¸ or booth. As they stare out into the starry nights, they are reminded of humanity’s frailty and vulnerability, and our utter dependence on God.

Why is it so important that they live outside in their sukkah?

This practice is part of the Jewish observance known as Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, and it reflects the biblical commandment God gave to the Israelites in Leviticus 23:42-43: “Live in temporary shelters for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in such shelters so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.’”

As they live outdoors, they not only connect with the experience of their ancestors who wandered through the desert thousands of years ago, but they also give thanks to God for His provision, for His protection, and blessings. Find out more about this joyous celebration here.

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