Sukkah - ancient & current
Ancient (left) and current versions of a sukkah (image sources: Wikipedia).

For the week-long holiday of Sukkot each fall, many Jewish people eat meals and pray in temporary huts topped with palm leaves or branches. Some even sleep there. Sukkot has two purposes: to commemorate the ancient Israelites’ escape from slavery in Egypt, and to celebrate the fall harvest.

Yanklowitz: “Sukkot is a wonderful time to reconnect with nature, to go out of one’s comfort zone of one’s home, and to be outside.”

That’s Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz of Scottsdale, Arizona. He says Sukkot provides a chance to reflect on the connection between humans and the earth.

Sukkot provides a chance to reflect on the connection between humans and the earth. Click To Tweet

Yanklowitz: “We realize just how amazing existence is and at the same time we realize how much humans impact that existence. And so I think that Sukkot tries to bring those together, to realize both our human responsibility and also realize the miraculous nature of what we’ve inherited.”

He hopes the holiday inspires Jews to protect the earth. Individual actions could include recycling, eating fewer animal products, or switching to renewable energy.

Yanklowitz: “Protecting the earth is crucial to the Jewish community, because every step we take is a step to elevate our souls, which are interconnected with all existence.”

Reporting credit: Mark Knapp/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Image graphic: Created by David McCarthy.

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