Sukkot – Hosting the nations

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Etrog, silver etrog box and lulav, used on the Jewish holiday of Sukkot (Photo: Gilabrand/Wikimedia Commons)

God commanded Israel to keep certain appointed times. During one of these holidays we are even supposed to make temporary dwelling places and yet again remember leaving Egypt. It’s been an awfully long time since we left Egypt. And Passover is all about remembering our deliverance … so WHY?!

Why do we need the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) and what relevance does it have to you and me? Let’s first remember that it had several purposes even in the days of Moses, as set out in the following three consecutive verses:

Cancelling of Debts

At the end of every seven years, in the set time of the year of cancelling debts, during the feast of Sukkot …” (Deuteronomy 31:10).

Coming before God

When all Israel comes to appear before Adonai your God in the place He chooses … Gather the people …” (Deuteronomy 31:11, 12).

Reading the Word

… you are to read this Torah before them in their hearing” (Deuteronomy 31:11).

In congregation Ahavat Yeshua we have gathered together during Sukkot as a congregation every year at least once to celebrate. But this year in addition to coming together and reading from our Torah scroll we took another step in fulfilling the Biblical significance of Sukkot.

The prophet Zechariah foretold of a time when all nations will ascend to Jerusalem every year to “worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep Sukkot” (Zechariah 14:16).

Last year we noticed that so many visitors came to join us during this appointed time that we could hardly fit in our meeting hall. This year we took a leap of faith and rented a facility more than twice as large as our normal space … with great success! We estimate about 300 people attended our service which normally has about 100-120 people. We departed from our normal practice of only speaking Hebrew from the stage by providing English translation from the front. It was an amazing privilege to host the nations and see an expression of prophecy fulfilled. So while Israel may not need another holiday to remember leaving Egypt, we do see that this holiday is meant for connecting the nations to Israel and giving us the opportunity to host all our friends!

Maybe you will join us next year?

This article originally appeared on Revive Israel, October 4, 2017, and reposted with permission.