Shabbat Sukkot – Day 1 Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach!

Dear Friends,

The think I love most about Sukkot is that we are “commanded” to rejoice for the entire seven days of the Sukkot holiday! Imagine that! I am sooooo ready to try my very best to fulfill this mitzvah!

I look forward to seeing you all at Zoom services tonight, Friday night, and tomorrow morning, Shabbat and, coincidentally, also the first day of Sukkot, to celebrate this wonderful holiday.

Here are some tips for the traditional celebration of Sukkot:

Cook all your food for Shabbat, in advance of Shabbat. Finish all your cooking for the second day of Sukkot (which begins on Saturday night), either before Shabbat, or by cooking after Shabbat is over on Saturday night.

To light candles for the Second day of Sukkot, prepare a long-burning flame from before Shabbat, so that after Shabbat, you may light the candles for the Second Day of Sukkkot, by transferring fire from a burning flame, rather than by striking a match to create a new flame!

It is a mitzvah to eat all meals in the Sukkah, except in inclement weather. Let’s hope we get good weather this week…:) But, we can always “snack” outside the Sukkah, even in good weather….

The first time you eat a meal in the Sukkah this holiday season, recite the

Sh’heh’chehyanu blessing, thanking God for allowing us to enjoy this moment in life.

On all occasions, when we eat a meal in the Sukkah, after the initial kiddush or motzi, we sit down in the Sukkah and recite the following blessing before we eat: “Baruch Atta Adonai, eloheynu melech haOlam, asher kiddeshanu v’mitzvotav v’tzivanu Layshev baSukkah [Blessed is God who has sanctified us with the mitzvoth and commanded us to dwell in the Sukkah].”

Lulav and etrog are used on all the days of Sukkot, except for Shabbat. No lulav and etrog on Shabbat.

Most importantly, this is a holiday of joy, of outdoors, of confidence, of blessing and of great beauty!

Whose etrog will be the most beautiful? Well, that depends on what each one of us sees as beautiful. Here’s the real answer: Your etrog should appear to you to be the most beautiful etrog of all….Just don’t argue with your neighbor if they feel the same way about their etrog!

I feel the joy of Sukkot beginning to descent upon me already….Can’t wait to see you at services!

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach [A Joyous Sukkot Holiday]!

Rabbi Gilah Dror