Both holidays are about being joyous, celebration, and sharing your joy with community. Purim focused on the joy of not getting killed off as a people, while Sukkot celebrates the (hopefully) fruitful harvest, a result of hard human work and physical support (sun, rain) from G!d. Purim gets points for yummy treats, and I should know as the 4 year host of a hummentashen bake off.
But Sukkot deals the upper hand for many reasons, including 7 whole days of fun. It is also one of the holidays with multiple names, two being: Zeman Simkhateinu, the Season of our Rejoicing and Chag Ha-Asif, the Festival of Ingathering. The sages tell us that we should spend as much time in the Sukkah as possible, including eating and sleeping there. As a child in suburban Philadelphia, I was allowed to fall asleep in the Sukkah in our backyard until “the middle of the night” when my parents would bring us inside (you know, once it was dark and we were asleep, like 10pm). For answers to questions about halachic Sukkah sleeping, click here. (Like can you sleep underneath a table in the Sukkah?)
Meanwhile, what better way to rejoice in the abundance of the fall harvest season than visiting a farm? Ganei Beantown: Beantown Jewish Gardens and Hebrew College are proud to host this first annual community Sukkot celebration supported by an Innovation Grant from CJP. Join us at Lands Sake Farm on Chol Ha’moed Sukkot, Sunday October 16th from 12:00pm-4pm. A full listing of events is here. This event is for all ages and all denominations dedicated to joyous celebration of our harvest season.
While we can’t sleep in our Sukkah, bring a picnic lunch and you can eat in it! We’ll be making decorations, listening to live music, visiting the farm animals, working on the farm, making recycled paper and learning Torah.
“When you harvest your crops from your granary, you should be happy on your holiday, you and your children…”
Examples of Sukkot joy would be the Klezwoods concert at 2:00pm.