Coming up this Fall is Sukkot, a Scriptural holiday to remind the Hebrew people of their time in the wilderness– so that they wouldn’t grow proud and forget the Power that had delivered them from slavery in Egypt. Every year at this time, we sleep out in a Sukkah. We “go camping” with the Designer 🙂 It’s humbling to look up at the stars, and to realize how frail life is, and to recognize the gift of it as a family. By Jewish Law, only the men are required to keep this good work (post from another site), and we’re not Jewish, but we love joining Hubby whenever we can… for more than just the starlight.
A couple of years ago, we lived in a toxic house (see “Monsters, Gifts and Blessings” post), and didn’t know it for a while– we decided not to celebrate Sukkot that year because we figured I was too sick. While this may have been fine for me, we didn’t bother considering that maybe there was a Bigger Reason for Hubby to keep this Natural Law. We wound up staying in that house for another 6 months ’till Passover… another story. At any rate, if we had slept outside (like we wound up doing 6 months later, by “coincidence”) we would’ve known that it was the house making me sick, and not me dying of Lupus. We would’ve known to get out at any cost: our lives depended on it. As it happened, we had to watch the rest of the family begin to develop my symptoms before we figured it out. We’re well now– biked 25 miles the other day, babies-and-all! By all logic (without hindsight) we were perfectly sane in foregoing the Feast of Sukkot / Feast of Tabernacles / Feast of Booths– especially since we’re not Jewish, and according to Jewish law, are not required to participate… but that’s another story. We’ve been finding more and more that we need these Natural Laws in Scripture– the more we study, the more we see the impact they have in the real world, here-and-now… most of it up-close-and-personal.
That word for “booths” is in Genesis / Bereshiyt 33:17
17 Jacob traveled to Succoth, built himself a house, and made shelters for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.
The word “shelters”, also translated “tabernacles” or “booths” is the word “Sukkah” (singular of “Sukkot”, or “Succoth”). Strong’s # 5521. It corresponds to the AHLB # 1333J.
Here’s the Ancient Hebrew Pictograph:
Samech: Ring of Thorns– as the shepherd would make to protect his sheep in the wilderness. Without a lumber yard to pick up construction materials, he would build it out of rocks or whatever he could find lying around, and then line the top of the ring/ shelter with thorny brush to ward off wild animals.
Vav: Tent Peg– Securing, Nailing Down
Kaph: Open Hand– Giving and Receiving
You can see the “Hedge of Protection, secured by hand” as the Sukkah.
It is defined, “Booth: A dwelling place. Branch: as used for making booths.” It is translated elsewhere as “tabernacle”.
For us, in our life’s adventures, we’ve found that this ridiculously frail-looking structure, this “booth” is the most secure place to be at the Appointed Time every year. It’s the Ring of Thorns given by the Shepherd to secure us by the Divine Hand.
As always, for more info on the pictographs, see: