What is Sukkot? Why do we celebrate sukkot? Why do we sleep in a sukkah? These are all some very commonly asked questions that I’d love to provide the answers to!
To start, Sukkot is one of the three main Jewish harvest holidays of the year. These are referred to as the shalosh regalim, which include Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot; all of these holidays fall on the full moon or “harvest moon” so that the farmers can see. On this holiday, the Jewish people would traditionally make a pilgrimage to the temple in Jerusalem to offer HaShem a selection from their harvest.
As for why we celebrate sukkot, this question has many different answers that would all be considered correct. My favorite answer would have to be that we celebrate Sukkot to remember the 40 years we wandered in the desert. Even though Sukkot is a harvest festival, it is also a reminder of our days in the desert when we spent 40 years sleeping in a sukkah. This answer also covers the question of why we sleep in a sukkah!
In my opinion, Sukkot is one of the most interesting holidays in the Jewish calendar with many traditions and many more questions.
Chag sameach USY!
International Religious Education Vice President