In Jewish culture, from October 02 to 09, 2020, was time for the Festival of Shelters. Empire Residence welcomed many Jewish guests to their Orlando homes during the period to celebrate. The front lawn yards of the houses staged the famous white huts and made it possible for several families to celebrate this very important holiday in the best way: together.
But do you know what the Festival of Shelters is? In Hebrew, it is called Sukkot and recalls the exodus of the Hebrews in the desert when they left Egypt, which lasted 40 years. During the exodus, Jews became nomads, living in small, fragile and temporary huts. That is why today the Festival of Shelters is held, as a way of celebrating what the Hebrews lived during the exodus.
For the Sukkot celebrations, the Jews build small huts for their meals to happen outdoors. The hut is called sukkah and needs to be built with a view to the sky and have, at least, 3 walls. The goal with the hut’s construction is to instigate an abandonment of material goods, showing that even though life has given many riches, God will always be the one to offer the protection that Jews need. Thus, Jews leave the comfort of their homes to stay in the fragile hut during the 7 days of Sukkot, reinforcing their confidence in the protections of God.
During Sukkot, men must eat all their meals inside the hut, especially those with bread or pasta, but there are those who don’t even drink a glass of water outside the hut. In the first 2 days of the celebration, even if it is raining, all meals need to happen within the sukkah.
Other than the huts, another important Sukkot tradition is the offering of water, a celebration to God, who did not let the Jews run out of water during the exodus in the desert. Sukkot is part of Shalosh Regalim, the three Jewish festivals that celebrate the pilgrimages of the Hebrew people through the desert and their resilience throughout the seasons.
After learning more about the Festival of Shelters, Empire Residence is even better prepared to welcome Jews who wish to stay in a house with a lawn yard to build their sukkah and celebrate Sukkot!