Chag Sukkot Sameach! Tonight begins the Jewish festival of the harvest, Sukkot. All over the world, Jewish people are building special booths outside their synagogues and homes, decorated with fruits of the harvest. We symbolically invite our ancestors and deceased relatives into these booths, where we relax and enjoy the bounty of good food and company. We also celebrate the fruits of our spiritual labors as the “days of awe” encompassed by Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur come to an end. After the rigorous inner work of atonement, we begin the new year with a fresh start, and taste the richness of life as pomegranates and olives ripen in Israel, and pumpkins and apples are harvested here in North America. Many other traditions also celebrate harvest festivals in the autumn, as well as the solemnity of the spiritual journey that finds its origins in Halloween, Samhain, the Mexican Day of the Dead, All Saints Day, and others. In many traditions, our deceased loved ones and ancestors are honored on this occasion, and the bounty of life is shared.
In the spirit of all these traditions, I want to wish my readers a plentiful season of harvest. May you reap the benefits both inner and outer of all your hard work. I would also like to acknowledge my new readers who have signed up for this blog over the last few weeks. Welcome!
Pictured here are two images of celebration and harvest from the first two months of my new 15-month, 2012/5772 Jewish Calendar. You don’t have to be Jewish to use it! This is my first self-pubishing project, and also a fundraiser for the Woodstock Jewish Congregation. Please pass the word to your friends and family, and help make this a fruitful project. Click here to order the calendar from my webstore, or to peek inside.
A joyous Sukkot and harvest season to all!