Sukkot Subscribe

A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology which focus on Sukkot.


Blogs

Sukkot and Vegetarianism

by Richard Schwartz, Ph.D. ~The Sukkot holiday, including Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, is known as the "Season of Rejoicing", because people's worries about the success of the harvest are over. Since one must be in good health in order to fully rejoice, the many health benefits of vegetarian diets and the knowledge that such diets are less harmful than animal-based diets to the environment, hungry people, and animals are factors that can enhance rejoicing. There are many other connections that can be made between vegetarianism and these joyous Jewish festiva...

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Eden Village is Hiring Farm Educator Apprentices

Eden Village Camp is Hiring! Submit Your Application About Eden Village Camp: Eden Village Camp aims to be a living model of a thriving, sustainable Jewish community, grounded in social responsibility and inspired Jewish spiritual life. By bringing the wisdom of our tradition to the environmental, social, and personal issues important to today’s young people, we practice a Judaism that is substantive and relevant. Through our Jewish environmental and service-learning curricula, joyful Shabbat observance, pluralistic Jewish expression, and inspiring, diverse staff ...

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Sukkot and Eco-Friendly Eating

Sukkot, the harvest holiday that takes place  on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei, marks the end of the agricultural year.  Jews give thanks for the bounty of the Earth.  We commemorate the holiday by decorating our sukkah with fruits, vegetables and harvest items.  We shake the lulov and the etrog to connect ourselves to the Earth as we eat and spend time outside. It is fitting during the traditionally agricultural holiday of Sukkot to think about our food choices.  Here are a few ways we can be more eco-friendly in our eating and food purchasing habits:...

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Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah and Vegetarianism

The Sukkot holiday, including Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, is known as the "Season of Rejoicing," because people's worries about the success of the harvest are over. Since one must be in good health in order to fully rejoice, the many health benefits of vegetarian diets and the knowledge that such diets are less harmful than animal-based diets to the environment, hungry people, and animals are factors that can enhance rejoicing. There are many other connections that can be made between vegetarianism (and veganism) and these joyous Jewish festivals: 1. Sukkot ...

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The spirit of Hakhel gives hope for unity

On Chol Hamoed Sukkot, we held the closing events of the Israeli Shmita Initiative. We carried our Hakhel Treaty on a three-day journey of events, from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem: collecting the lessons of the Shmita year and calling for the renewal of the covenant between all sectors of Israeli society. Whenever we stopped, we participated in mass events, with a clear message of unity and connection in the spirit of Hakhel. The journey began at the port of Tel Aviv, as part of the opening event of the Hakhel BaNamal festival in conjunction with Beit Tefilah Israeli. ...

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Sukkoth, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah and Vegetarianism

Sukkot commemorates the 40 years when the ancient Israelites lived in the wilderness in frail huts and were sustained by manna. According to Isaac Arama (1420-1494), author of Akedat Yitzchak,and others, the manna was God’s attempt to reestablish for the Israelites the vegetarian diet that prevailed before the flood in the time of Noah. 1. On Simchat Torah, Jews complete the annual cycle of Torah readings, and begin again, starting with the first chapter of Genesis, which contains God’s first dietary law: “Behold I have given you every herb yielding seed which is ...

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Eden Village is hiring farm educator apprentices for 2015 growing season!

Eden Village Camp is Hiring!  Submit Your Application About Eden Village Camp: Eden Village Camp aims to be a living model of a thriving, sustainable Jewish community, grounded in social responsibility and inspired Jewish spiritual life. By bringing the wisdom of our tradition to the environmental, social, and personal issues important to today’s young people, we practice a Judaism that is substantive and relevant. Through our Jewish environmental and service-learning curricula, joyful Shabbat observance, pluralistic Jewish expression, and inspiring, diverse staff ...

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Sukkot of Shmita Resources and Events

SUKKOT AND SHMITA RESOURCES AND EVENTS for 2014-15 contributed by all the organizations and initiatives on “the Map” http://jewcology.org/map-of-initiatives/ Here’s a quick bit of Sukkot Torah to start us off: “The four species of the lulav represent the four types of ecosystems in the land of Israel: desert (date palm), hills (myrtle), river corridors (willow), and sh’feilah, the lowlands (etrog). Each species has to be fresh, with the very tips intact – they can’t be dried out, because they hold the water of last year’s rain. Together, they make a ...

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Spread over all of us the Sukkah of shalom, salaam, paz, peace!

Can our Sukkot become not only symbols but peacemaking sanctuaries for both "adam" and "adamah"? As we enter the Shmita / Sabbatical Year, we may be asking what its content might be. We can begin, just a few days before Rosh Hashanah, joining the several dozen Jewish organizations that will take part in the People’s Climate March in New York City, Sunday Septembr 21, beginning at 11:30 am. Then on Rosh Hashanah (which can mean “New Year” or “Start of Transformation”), we might celebrate what the tradition sees ...

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Uplifting People and Planet

Exciting news! Just in time for Tu b’Shevat, Canfei Nesharim and Jewcology are proud to announce the launch of a new ebook exploring traditional Jewish teachings on the environment, Uplifting People and Planet: Eighteen Essential Jewish Lessons on the Environment, edited by Rabbi Yonatan Neril and Evonne Marzouk. This ebook is the most comprehensive study in English of how Jewish traditional sources teach us to protect our natural resources and preserve the environment. From food to trees, energy to water, wealth to biodiversity, the book studies eighteen ...

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The Urban Adamah Fellowship Now Accepting 2014 Applications

Connect to Something Bigger: Earth, Community, Social Justice, Jewish Spirituality The Urban Adamah Fellowship, based in Berkeley, CA, is a three-month residential training program for young adults (ages 21–31) that combines urban organic farming, social justice training and progressive Jewish learning and living within the setting of an intentional community. Through the operation of Urban Adamah’s one-acre organic farm and internships with social justice organizations, fellows gain significant skills, training and experience in all aspects of ...

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Constructing Imperfection

Blog post by Joshua Boydstun, Rabbinical Student at Reconstructionist Rabbinical College ------------------ My camping tent has seen its fair share of adventure: Caked in the red dust and baked in the summer sun of the Sonoran Desert. Encrusted with the frozen rain of a Yellowstone autumn. Rocked with rain, whipped with wind and sprayed by a skunk while the remains of Hurricane Ivan swept through Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Plateau. Yet through it all, my seam-sealed tent has remained safe and secure, warm and watertight. I’ve enjoyed the pleasures of ...

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Sustainable Sukkot: Harvest Wind & Sun, Not Carbon

Traditionally the first action Jews would take after breaking the fast of Yom Kippur was to act for change – to hammer the first nail toward building a sukkah, the fragile hut with a leafy, leaky roof that is the central symbol of Sukkot, the harvest festival. That fragile hut is a calling to live lightly on the Earth, so beginning to build it is a commitment to compassion for all life-forms as well as for all human beings. So in this letter I want to share a possible “template” about Sukkot. I am hoping we can at this point reach out to ...

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Sukkot, Simchat Torah, and Vegetarianism

There are many connections that can be made between vegetarianism and the joyous Jewish festivals of Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret (the Eighth Day of Solemn Assembly), and Simchat Torah: 1. Sukkot commemorates the 40 years when the ancient Israelites lived in the wilderness in frail huts and were sustained by manna. According to Isaac Arama (1420-1494), author of Akedat Yitzchak, and others, the manna was God's attempt to reestablish for the Israelites the vegetarian diet (Genesis 1:29) that prevailed before the flood, in the time ...

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Darkness Upon the Face of the Deep

Darkness upon the Face of the Deep –חשך על פני תהום Rabbi Ed Rosenthal “In the Beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was null and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God hovered on the surface of the water.” (Gen.1:1-2). While we are taught that God is omnipresent and there is no place where the Divine presence does not dwell; there are few places that evoke a spiritual experience or a connection with the Divine more surely than the surface of water. ...

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What does it mean to be a “Sustainable Jew” (CJN Sept 2010)

This column was originally published in the Canadian Jewish News - September 22, 2010 Have you ever thought of Sukkot as a holiday which celebrates the Sustainable Jew In ancient Israel, Sukkot had a major agricultural focus. The celebration was a thanksgiving for the fruit harvest and the blessings of nature in the year that had passed. Today, Sukkot is a Jewish Festival where we step out of the comfort of our own homes, and enter temporary dwellings where we are exposed to the vagaries of the weather while performing the mitzvah of “Leshev Bsukah&rdqu...

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My Zaide, Sukkot and Food Insecurity

As a child at Sukkot I recall my beloved Zaide Shaya Yosef Z”L eating meals and sleeping in the simple Sukkah behind his house. Zaide was a pious Jew who left his Polish shtetl, Checiny, in order to bring his wife and children to a better life in Canada. Stories my mother tells about Checiny describe a home not much more secure than Zaide’s fragile Sukkah. Access to food, especially fresh produce, was limited. The family was often hungry and malnourished. I wonder what Zaide thought and felt as he celebrated Z’man Simchateinu, the ...

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Forest Gardening: A Living Sukkah

Sitting in our Sukkah at Eden Village, a hexagon of black locust from our forest, I can gaze in each direction and learn something about the place I am dwelling. I can look out to the east and see our production fields, mostly in covercrop of oats, with an occasional row of cosmos or cabbage, and behind the fields a cob oven, and behind that, our kitchen. To the south, a wetland and forest, from which we harvested the black locust and the invasive phragmites which we used as schach to cover our Sukkah. To the north, the office, theatre,and share circle, center of the ...

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PRAY, PLANT, GROW

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 PRAY, PLANT, GROW repeat! Many of us are familiar with the Pray, Eat, Pray, pattern of Jewish practice. Well, in this Harvest Season- which is also the spiritual season of birth and renewal- a New Year brings us many opportunities for reflection, renewal and redemption. Today is Hoshana Rabbah, bringing us to the end of Sukkos, and time to put away our Lulav and Estrog- Let's take action and put into practice our words to connect mind, body and spirit, to live in a way that our life is our thoughts, deeds and ...

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The many meanings of Sukkot

I love the holiday of Sukkot, and for many reasons. I feel it is a holiday with many meanings, and many lovely paradoxes. I love how Sukkot encourages us to spend more time in the outdoors, and yet how it encloses us within walls and a roof, even as we are exposed to the elements at the same time. I love how it reinforces our human ingenuity in building structures, and yet reminds us how fragile and impermanent these structures really are. I love its inherent earthy-ness, how it connects us to trees and fruits through the lulav and etrog, and also connects us to the ...

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