Tonight starts Sukkot, known as Z’man Simchatenu, a Season of Joy. It is a week-long celebration of the end of the summer harvests. It is a time of abundance, and of welcoming community. It is a time to take a deep breath and appreciate it all.
In biblical times, it was a celebration of harvesting olives, grapes, pomegranates and figs. Here in New England these days, it’s tomatoes, eggplant, squash and greens. Another name for Sukkot is Chag HaAsif, the Festival of Ingathering. The varieties of crops have been harvested, gathered, and stored.
How do we show appreciation?
Sukkot is one of the three major pilgrimage festivals to the Temple. (The others being Passover and Shavuot.) The gathering in Jerusalem had both ritual purpose and practical ones. It was a time to show devotion to G!d as well as exchange goods and news with others from different regions, and be in communal celebration.
After the ingathering from your threshing floor and your vat, you shall hold the Feast of Booths for seven days. You shall rejoice in your festival, with your son and daughter, your male and female slave, the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow in your communities. You shall hold a festival for the LORD your God seven days, in the place that the LORD will choose; for the LORD your God will bless all your crops and all your undertakings, and you shall have nothing but joy. Three times a year—on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, on the Feast of Weeks, and on the Feast of Booths—all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place that He will choose. They shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed, but each with his own gift, according to the blessing that the LORD your God has bestowed upon you.
Let’s appreciate and celebrate the successes of our gardens this year in small, socially distant groups, in the interest of public health. We have a few garden visit options, please let us know if you plan to join us before Shabbat by filling out this form: https://forms.gle/sGwVhU9CZKnaHxxm8
Tues. 6th 4:30-6:00 in Newton
Thurs. 8th 4:30-6:00 in Roslindale
Sun. 11th 4:30-6:00 in Framingham
Mon. 12 (Columbus/Indigenous People Day) 10:30-12:00 at Groundworks Somerville South St. Farm
Mon. 12 1:30-3:00 at Temple Beth Israel, Waltham
Groups will be limited to 10 people and please wear a mask and expect to practice social distancing. If you feel sick, please stay home! We will send confirmation details closer to the date.
Thanks in advance to everyone who offered to host!!!!!
In gratitude and gardens,
Co-Founder and Director
Beantown Jewish Gardens