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Sukkot and Simchat Torah


The Festival of Booths, Hag Ha-Sukkot, was also known in biblical times as Hag He-Asif, or simply, He-Hag, the “Festival of Ingathering” and “The Festival.” The rabbis of the Talmud called the festival the Season of our Rejoicing, Zeman Simhateinu. In addition to celebrating the fall harvest, Sukkot commemorates the forty year period of wandering in the wilderness when the Israelites came out of Egypt.

We are always on the journey, somewhere “in the wilderness” and yet find the ability to rejoice in being open to what is. The Sukkah or harvest hut, whose roof must be open to the elements, is a symbol of God’s protection that we find along the way, while the lulav and etrog, or harvest fruits, symbolize the diversity in community through which we come to experience God’s fullness.

At Dorshei Emet, we celebrate Sukkot together in our beautiful community Sukkah, with family activities, congregational services and kiddush lunches, and guest speakers.


Following Sukkot is the Eighth Day Festival Shemini Atzeret. This extra festival concludes the entire period that began with the High Holidays. Shemini Atzeret is a time for holding on to God’s felt Presence that was so palpable during these special days. Yizkor is observed on Shemini Atzeret. Attached to Shemini Atzeret is the celebration of Simhat Torah, when the annual cycle of Torah reading is completed and begun again.

At Dorshei Emet, we invite the whole congregation to dance and sing with the Torah at our evening Simhat Torah service, in which children especially parade with the Torah. We cap our celebrations with a special Shabbat Kiddush. We show our appreciation to two worthy members of our community by honouring them as Hatan Torah and Kallat Bereishit.

Tue, January 21 2020 24 Tevet 5780