On Friday, Oct. 18, Hillel, the Jewish student organization on campus, will be celebrating Sukkot. According to Kobe Friedman, the administration chair for Hillel and a second-year transfer studying history and teacher education, Sukkot is a weeklong Jewish holiday that celebrates the harvest and is seen as a time to appreciate the home and the body.
According to Friedman, Sukkot is traditionally celebrated by building a sukkah and gathering in the sukkah throughout the week.
“Sukkot is celebrated by constructing a temporary, hut-like structure called a sukkah,” Friedman said. “The sukkah is covered and decorated in a way that’s meaningful to you. It’s typical to eat, gather and reflect in the sukkah throughout the duration of the week with your community.”
Friedman spoke about another aspect of the ceremony that is performed during the holiday.
“Another custom includes the taking of the Four Kinds: an etrog, which is a fruit from the citron tree, a lulav, which is a palm frond, and two other leaves, hadassim and aravot,” Friedman said. “Each day, with the exception of Shabbat, we take these items, recite a blessing and wave them in all six directions.”
Friedman said the holiday is related to two Jewish holidays that have already passed, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
“The last day of the holiday is called ‘Hoshanah Rabbah,’” Friedman said. “This is the day when our fates, which were signed on Rosh Hashanah, or the New Year, and sealed on Yom Kippur, are finalized.”
Eli Newman, a second-year studying computer science and the finance chair of Hillel, said Hillel will be celebrating some of the traditional customs of Sukkot with a few modifications.
“We’re kind of taking the attitude of the holiday and putting it into an event,” Newman said. “We’re going to have a lot of activities to do. A lot of hanging out. We’re going to have a lot of decorations. We’re doing a makeshift [sukkah] with a bunch of tents, because we couldn’t make one ourselves this year, so we’re going to be doing that and making decorations for it.”
Newman said there will be a service to celebrate the holiday that is open to all students.
“We’re having a small service, just talking about the holiday itself and a couple of prayers specific to the holiday, and then a couple of general Shabbat prayers,” Newman said. “It’s open to everyone that would like to come. We welcome everybody to come and learn and have fun. Especially this one, we’re going to be out in [General Scott Courtyard]. Everyone is welcome to come and stop by and just have a good time. We’re going to have food as well. Everybody loves food.”
According to the Facebook event page, the sukkah will be built around noon on Oct. 18, and the service will begin around 5:30 p.m.
Editor’s Note: Rachael Davis, the managing editor of Technician, is the Vice President of Hillel.