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How to celebrate Sukkot?

Sukkot has an important universal meaning in addition to the Jewish one. How can we celebrate Sukkot?

On the first night of Sukkot one can recite Psalm 104.

My soul, bless the Lord. My G-d, You are very great, You are attired with majesty and beauty.[You] enwrap Yourself with light like a garment; [You] extend the heavens like a curtain.Who roofs His upper chambers with water; Who makes clouds His chariot, which goes on the wings of the wind.He makes winds His messengers, burning fire His ministers.He founded the earth on its foundations that it not falter to eternity.You covered the deep as [with] a garment; the waters stand on the mountains.From Your rebuke they fled; from the sound of Your thunder they hastened away.They ascended mountains, they descended into valleys to this place, which You had founded for them.You set a boundary that they should not cross, that they should not return to cover the earth.He sends the springs into the streams; they go between the mountains.They water every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst.Beside them the fowl of the heavens dwell; from between the branches they let out their voices.He waters the mountains from His upper chambers; from the fruit of Your works the earth is sated.He causes grass to sprout for the animals and vegetation for the work of man, to bring forth bread from the earth.And wine, which cheers man’s heart, to make the face shine from oil, and bread, which sustains man’s heart.The L-rd’s trees are sated, the cedars of Lebanon, which He planted.Where birds nest; as for the stork-the high junipers are its home.The lofty mountains for the ibexes; the rocks a shelter for the hyraxes.He made the moon for the appointed seasons; the sun knows its setting.You make darkness and it is night, in which every beast of the forest moves about.The young lions roar for prey and to beg their food from G-d.When the sun rises they gather in and couch in their dens.Man goes out to his work, to his labor until evening.How great are Your works, O L-rd! You have made them all with wisdom; the earth is full of Your possessions! This sea-great and wide; there are creeping things and innumerable beasts, both small and large.There the ships go; You formed this leviathan with which to sport.They all look to You with hope, to give their food in its time.You give them that they may gather; You open Your hand that they may be sated with goodness.You hide Your countenance and they are frightened; You gather in their spirit and they perish and return to their dust.You will send forth Your spirit and they will be created, and You will renew the surface of the ground.The glory of the L-rd will be forever; the Lord will rejoice with His works.He Who looks at the earth and it quakes; He touches the mountains and they emit smoke.I shall sing to the Lord while I am alive; I shall sing praises to my G-d as long as I exist.May my speech be pleasing to Him; I shall rejoice with the L-rd.Sinners will be destroyed from the earth and the wicked will be no more; my soul, bless the L-rd. Hallelujah.

When saying the Silent (Amida) prayer one can say the following every day of Sukkot:

On the first day, 13 bulls were brought by the Priest into the Holy Temple.*

O pure One, may my prayer ascent to You. You, Who are abundant in mercy and forgiveness, wipe away and remove my willful and unintentional transgressions. Forgive me and grant pardon for errors I have committed through insult, injury, and the inflicting of pain unto other.

On the second day, 12 bulls were brought by the priest into the Holy Temple.

O pure One, may my prayer ascent to You. You, Who are abundant in mercy and forgiveness, wipe away and remove my willful and unintentional transgressions. Forgive me and grant pardon for errors I have committed through insult, injury, and the inflicting of pain unto other. Etc.*

Until the 21 of Tishrei (we started on the 1st of Elul), you can recite Psalm 27.

Of David. The L-rd is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The L-rd is the stronghold of my life; from whom shall I be frightened? When evildoers draw near to me to devour my flesh, my adversaries and my enemies against me-they stumbled and fell.If a camp encamps against me, my heart shall not fear; if a war should rise up against me, in this I trust.One [thing] I ask of the Lord, that I seek-that I may dwell in the house of the L-rd all the days of my life, to see the pleasantness of the L-rd and to visit His Temple every morning.That He will hide me in His tabernacle on the day of calamity; He will conceal me in the secrecy of His tent; He will lift me up on a rock.And now, my head will be raised over my enemies around me, and I will sacrifice in His tent sacrifices with joyous song; I will sing and chant praise to the L-rd.Hearken, O L-rd, to my voice [which] I call out, and be gracious to me and answer me.On Your behalf, my heart says, “Seek My presence.” Your presence, O L-rd, I will seek.Do not hide Your presence from me; do not turn Your servant away with anger. You were my help; do not forsake me and do not abandon me, O G-d of my salvation.For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the L-rd gathers me in.Instruct me, O L-rd, in Your way, and lead me in the straight path because of those who lie in wait for me.Do not deliver me to the desires of my adversaries, for false witnesses and speakers of evil have risen against me.Had I not believed in seeing the good of the Lord in the land of the living!Hope for the L-rd, be strong and He will give your heart courage, and hope for the L-rd.

The 22 of Tishrei is a special day. It is the day that immediately follows the atonement of Sukkot. It is also the day when we recite the prayer for rain.

Although Sukkot is the time for judgement upon water, the custom of the Jewish world is not to recite the prayer for rain until after the day of Sukkot. It is appropriate for Noahides and Jews to pray for rain at the same time so that their prayers may join together in beseeching the Creator.

The Prayer for Rain

May He command His angel to apportion for us from the segregated rains, to soften the surface of the wasteland when it is as dry as rock. Sooth with its drops those into whom a soul was blown, sustaining and enlivening those who recall the powerful rains. Remember the righteous whom You have blessed like a tree planted by streams of water, whom you have rescued from fire and water.

For the their sake, do not withhold water from the earth. Remember the righteous who pour out their hearts before You like water. For the sake of their righteousness, give us abundant water!

For You are the L-rd, G-d, Who makes the wind blow and the rain fall. For blessing and not for curs. For life and not for death. In abundance and not in scarcity. It is He who sustain the living in kindness, supports the fallen, heals the sick, and releases the bound. Who is like You, the Master of Great Deeds, and who is comparable to You, the King who brings death and restores life, who makes salvation flourish! Blessed are You, O L-rd, creator and life-giver, Who sustains His creations! Amen*

One can have a meal with family and friends, recite Psalms together, read Torah in honour of HaShem.

When one, as a Noahide, is invited by a Jew to sit in the Sukkah to benefit from a meal together, it is permitted. (And is recommendable) This is then done because of honouring his Jewish host and the meal itself is not a religious ritual and commandment given to him by G-d. Were he to eat for religious reasons, it would fall under the prohibition against making one’s own religion, as G-d did not command it to him (This includes, for example, waving a lulav).

However, a Noahide is permitted to sit in a Sukkah if he does so for physical pleasure. For example, to enjoy the shade. After all, then it is not a Jewish commandment he wants to observe, or a holy day he makes for himself, but is for his own pleasure.

By Angelique Sijbolts

Sources: The Divine Code 4e edition p. 57, Tehillim 104, * Copied with permission from The Order , A Communal and Individual Noahide Prayerbook, by NoahideNations, see also NoahideNations Shop

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