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Sukkot (Tabernacles)

Sukkot, or Tabernacles, is one of the three Jewish pilgrim festivals on which pilgrimages have been made to Jerusalem since Biblical times. Harvest gifts were brought to the Temple which stood there until 70 CE. Sukkot is celebrated for seven days, followed by the feast of Simchat Torah ("Rejoicing in the Torah"). Sukkot also originated as a harvest thanksgiving festival like Pesach and Shavuot, the other two pilgrim festivals. The symbol of the festival is the Sukkah, the Tabernacle, where people live and eat for the seven days. The Tabernacle is intended as a reminder of the Israelites' wanderings in the desert prior to their entry into the Holy Land, a period when they had no fixed home.
During the morning service in the synagogue during Sukkot a lulav is waved (literally "palm" but referring here to the "four species", namely the palm, the myrtle, the willow, and the etrog, or citron, a lemonlike fruit with thick aromatic rind). One inhabitant of the Judengasse was known as the Essroger: his special task was to supply the citron for the festival. There are records of the Essroger living in the Goldener Helm at the end of the 17th century.
The festival of Simchat Torah is directly after this and celebrates the Torah as the foundation and lasting treasure of the Jewish faith. In the synagogue, the annual cycle of reading the Torah aloud is completed and immediately recommenced. Joyful processions bearing the Torah scrolls express this happiness.

© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources