Sukkot, the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles, is a harvest festival. As mentioned in the article on pages one and two, God commanded the children of Israel to live in temporary booths to remind us of His provision and presence during the wilderness wanderings. But He also commanded us to rejoice—for seven days—with fruit, with palm branches, with boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook (Leviticus 23:40).
The Jewish people have a tradition in order to follow this command: it is the waving of the lulav and etrog. The lulav is made of three kinds of branches that have been bound together: the palm, the myrtle and the willow. The etrog is a citrus fruit that looks somewhat like a lemon. The etrog, is considered to be heart-shaped, the palm branch is seen as a reminder of the spine, the myrtle leaves are round like eyes, and the willow leaves are shaped somewhat like lips. Each day of the holiday, family members take turns waving the lulav and etrog in each direction as they stand in the sukkah, or booth. By doing so, we are reminded to rejoice and praise God with our heart, our lips, our eyes and our backbone.
The eight day holiday began at sundown on September 29. If you get a chance, be sure to wish your Jewish friends a happy holiday! And be sure to check our website to see if any of our missionaries are presenting Christ in the Feast of Tabernacles at a church near you.