Shana tova. I hope that you all had easy and meaningful fasts, as well as opportunities to think about your own personal growth and goals for the coming year. On our Jewish journey, we will be making many stops together to learn, and reflecting on the meaning of the holidays, the messages of the Torah portions, and the core values that we want to transmit as parents to our children and our community.

The holiday of Sukkot includes the following:

1. Building the sukkah and eating meals there.

2. The  mitzvah of the “taking of the lulav and etrog” (see and for more in depth analysis of the four species.

3. Inviting  the ushpizin during the meals. These are significant leaders from the Biblical period including, Moshe, Aaron, and King David, who we invite to join us in the sukkah for our festive meals. This custom is to remind us of our being links in the chain of Jewish history , and the mitzvah of hachnassat orchim, or inviting guests to our meals.

4. Reciting the Hallel prayer and having hakafot called “hoshanas”( a circle parade ) with the lulav and etrog during services.

Enjoy the holiday!