Bruce Kauffman 10:30 a.m., Aug. 31
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Sukkot is the name of the holiday Jews celebrate at harvest time. It is a seven day holiday. This year it starts on September 30 and ends on October 7. It is also known as the "Feast of Booths" and "Feast of Tabernacles." The word "sukkah" means "booth", "hut", or "tent". The sukkah is intended as a reminder of the type of fragile dwellings in which the Israelites lived during their 40 years of travel in the desert after the Exodus from slavery in Egypt. Throughout the holiday, meals are eaten inside the sukkah and some people sleep there as well.
On the Sabbath that occurs during Sukkot, the Book of Ecclesiastes is read. Ecclesiastes is canonical for both Jews and Christians. The book is called "Qoheleth" in Hebrew, which means "preacher." The main speaker in the book, identified by the name or title Qoheleth, introduces himself as the "son of David, king in Jerusalem." Authorship of the book is usually attributed to King Solomon.
Perhaps the best known words from the Book of Ecclesiastes are verses 1 to 8 of Chapter 3. They were set to music by Pete Seeger in 1959, and recorded by The Byrds in 1965. Here is the King James Version:
- To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven;
- A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
- A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
- A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
- A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
- A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
- A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
- A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.