In Deuteronomy 16:14, Hashem commands the Children of Israel to rejoice on Sukkot, the festival of the Feast of Tabernacles. This year, Sukkot begins after sundown on October 4th. In the days of the Temple, all the nations of the world would ascend the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to offer the Sukkot sacrifices enumerated in the Torah. One of the highlights of the seven day Sukkot festival was the Celebration of Water-drawing, the ‘Simkhat Bet Ha-Shoeva’. On a normal day, every sacrifice offered by the Priests was accompanied by a wine libation poured over the alter. On Sukkot, water, along with wine was poured over the alter in a special ritualistic ceremony which effected tremendous joy, song, and dance among the worshipers. While the Temple no longer stands in Jerusalem, Jews in Israel and abroad continue to observe the joyous holiday of Sukkot with festive meals, new clothing and elated spirits. Unfortunately, there are far too many Israelis who do not have the means to cover their basic living expenses let alone the means necessary to observe the Sukkot in dignity and with joy.
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