Five days after Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, the holiday of Sukkot begins. Sukkot, Hebrew for “huts,” is a commemoration commanded in Scripture of ancient Israel’s wilderness journey out of Egypt into the Promised Land, during which the Israelites lived in rickety booths (see Exodus 23:14-17).
Originally one of the three pilgrimage festivals commanded in the Old Testament (the Torah), the celebration of Sukkot today is focused mainly in the home. As soon as possible after Yom Kippur, often on the same evening, observant Jews build the sukkah outside their homes—a hut with three walls and a patched roof made of branches. During the holiday, meals are often eaten in the sukkah and some people even sleep in it.
As Jews consciously separate from material things through the simplicity of eating (and even dwelling) in the sukkah, the holiday of Sukkot is a chance to reflect on the most important things in life. It is also a time to reflect on the goodness of God and to re-commit oneself to His care.