Photo Friday: A Festival to the Lord for Seven Days

Stand for Israel  |  October 2, 2020

Sukkot in Jerusalem, 1912

“So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the LORD for seven days; the first day is a day of sabbath rest, and the eighth day also is a day of sabbath rest. On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant treesfrom palms, willows and other leafy treesand rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. Celebrate this as a festival to the LORD for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. 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.” (Leviticus 23:39-43)

Just as God said He would bring His people, Israel, home to the Holy Land, so too did He command them to celebrate Sukkot, the Festival of Tabernacles. Here, one of the earliest Jewish photographers to make aliyah (immigrate) fulfills this biblical commandment in the Holy City of Jerusalem in 1912. Ritewski sits in his sukkah in Jerusalem, protected only by palm fronds to remind him of God’s providence for the Israelites as they wandered the desert. Tonight at sundown, the Jewish people will begin the seven days of Sukkot, this celebration that keeps the memory of God’s love alive. Shabbat shalom, friends.