Only a few short days after the somber 25 hour period of atonement, fasting and prayer for Yom Kippur Jerusalem, the center for events during Sukkot, comes alive again.
The Feast of Booths is a biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei. This year coming out of Shmita (a sebatical year for the land) we welcome the holiday with a new year of bountiful harvests and a total lunar eclipse of the Sukkot Super Blood Moon. This seven day holiday marks the end of the harvest time/ agricultural year in Israel and also commemorates The Exodus and the dependence of the People of Israel on the will of God.
Highlights this year include the city’s annual Safra Square Sukkah, the largest Sukkah in Israel, the annual Jerusalem March in which up to 10,000 guests from overseas will join in a march through Jerusalem, The Jerusalem Biennale Exhibitionss, The President’s Open House, the Abu Gosh Music Festival of course The Mahaneh Yehuda / Sukkot Market where hundreds of people could be found searching for the perfect lulav and etrog.
Jews of all types spill onto the streets carrying their precious ritual objects. For seven nights everyone will be joining friends and family in their sukkah praying, feasting, singing, and remembering the portable dwellings where the Jewish people lived for 40 years after liberation from Egypt. It is a most surreal experience to be in the holy city at this time of year and to be able to take part in these beautiful festivities.
Written and photos by: Jessica Shokrian