Sukkot is a time of year that is celebrated by the Jewish People for millennia. It commemorates the time spent in the desert by the Jewish people when they were freed from Egypt and Pharaoh.
There are a few major aspects to this Jewish Holiday that make it unique. During the seven day period of Sukkot there is a requirement to eat in a Sukkah. A sukkah is like a hut made of different materials on the walls and bamboo or other natural materials as the roof.
These days sukkos can be very comfortable with heating and air conditioning outside. There still are some comforts that can be affected, such as bugs. Most people don’t use air conditioning outside so if it’s a specifically hot day then things can get uncomfortable inside the sukkah.
There are many spellings of Sukkot. Sukkot is the English translation of the word Sukkos, being that the ‘t’ and ‘s’ are sometimes interchangeable. Other spellings are Succos, Succot, Sucos, Sukos, among others. They all mean the same thing, Wikipedia spells it ‘Sukkot’.
The Sukkah needs to have two and half walls in order to be Kosher. It also needs to have a certain amount covered on top by the bamboo or a similar material. In addition, it can’t have anything on top of the rood, even as an overhang. For this reason a sukkah can not be built under a tree or under any sort of porch. Obviously, it can not be built inside of a structure.
Another major point of Sukkos is the Etrog and Lulav Set. The etrog, also known as an esrog, is a rare fruit that can only be grown in certain parts of the world. It is similar in look and feel to a lemon but has much more bumps and different shapes. It is not made to eat on Sukkot but some people make it into jam after the holiday is over.
An etrog can be very expensive and there many variations on the types and where they are grown. There are many different things to look at with the fruit to decide it’s value. The experts in the field look at the esrog with magnifying glasses to make sure every imperfection is noticed.
The lulav is used in conjunction with the esrog. The lulav is grown on palm trees and they need to be well take care so the ‘spine’ stays intact and does not split. The lulav and esrog are used during the Jewish holiday prayers with hadassim and arovos. These are other plant products that signify different things in regards to the holiday.
Many lulavim (plural for lulav) are grown in Egypt. Interesting how the story makes a complete cycle.