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What is Sukkot?



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Come Right In

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 Individual Unity "Unity March"

Come Right In

Imagine your dream location. Far from civilization, surrounded by the sights, smells, and sounds of paradise. Oblivious to the hustle and bustle of your daily life, the serenity and beauty of the setting carries you to another world.

In a spiritual sense, the mitzva of Sukka, after which the approaching holiday is named, is just such a mitzva.

It is a mitzva that literally encompasses you. It surrounds you. It commemorates the way that the Clouds of Glory surrounded the Jews on all sides as they travelled through the desert, insulated from the harsh terrain and all types of predators. Unlike other mitzvot where only a part of our being is involved in the mitzva, when it comes to sukka, we actually go into the mitzva and allow it to encompass every part of us.

Another unique aspect of the mitzva is found in Chasidic teachings.

Being within the four wall of the sukka serves to elevate anything, even the most mundane act, that you do in the sukka.

You can just let your feet do the walking into a sukka, have a bite to eat with the appropriate blessing and sit. And you're doing a mitzva! If you want, you can have a nice chat, or listen to some music. And these acts are elevated to a higher spiritual plane since they are being done as part of dwelling in the sukka.

You can meditate or you can read. You can shake a lulav and etrog in the sukka. You can sit down or stand up. You can even take a nap in a sukka and it can be considered a mitzva!

Finding a sukka is really not as difficult as you may think. Many Chabad centers have a sukkah-building service and even offer pre- fabricated models. If you don't have one of your own, you can visit your local Chabad-Lubavitch House which will have one open to the public. They might even have a mobile sukka on a flat-bed truck.

Then sit down, relax with a cup of coffee (or spring water) and a piece of cake, say the blessings (see below) and eat.

The mitzva is to "dwell" in the sukka as we would normally live in our homes. To fulfill this mitzvah, we should have a meal there or, at the very least, eat food made from one of the five grains (wheat, barley, oats, rye or spelt. One should first recite the regular blessing (Baruch Ata Ado-nei Elo-haynu Melech Haolam boray meenay mezonot) and then say the special sukka blessing "Boruch Ata Adon-nei Elohay-nu Melech Haolam asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu layshayv baSuka -- Blessed are You... Who made us holy with His commandments and commanded us to dwell in the Sukka."

So now that you are a sukka maven and you know how easy and uplifting it is to do the mitzva of sukka, why not give it a try?

 Individual Unity "Unity March"

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