Tuesday, September 29

Sukkot + The Mysterious Guests

The Pilgrims were familiar with the tradition of Sukkot, and modeled their celebratory feast after it in 1621 during the first harvest season in the New World. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in October and lasted for three days. This celebration eventually morphed into our modern day Thanksgiving...

Sukkot is the Jewish harvest festival.  It begins five days after Yom Kippur and lasts for nine days, and is called the Feast of Booths because of the special custom of building a small hut, the sukkah, outdoors.  The Hebrew calendar date is the 15th day of the month of Tishrei.  This date always coincides with the evening of the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, otherwise known as the Harvest Moon.  In 2020, Sukkot begins on the evening of Friday, October 2nd and ends at sundown October 9th.

Many Jewish families build a sukkah, a hut reminiscent of the temporary booths in which the Hebrews lived as they wandered forty years through the desert after the Exodus from Egypt.  Jewish people who have gardens build their sukkah at home.  People who live in the city may share one built at a synagogue.  The booths are decorated with autumn leaves, pumpkins, and wheat stalks.  Depending on the weather, people eat, live, and may even sleep in them, just as the Israelites did.

For this unit, we are using The Mysterious Guests as our spine read.

Access the complete unit study in the Jewish Holidays in Literature Bundle!

Each of the ten unit studies in this year-long bundle centers around a book for middle school level and includes videos, cooking projects, hands-on activities, writing assignments, and more.  There are also resources for younger children in eight of the ten units (not in *).

  • Introduction to Judaism
  • Solomon and the Trees + Tu B’Shevat unit
  • The Queen of Persia + Purim unit study (sample)
  • Devil’s Arithmetic + Passover unit study
  • The Secret Shofar of Barcelona + Rosh Hashana unit study
  • The Yom Kippur Shortstop + Yom Kippur unit study
  • The Mysterious Guests + Sukkot unit study
  • All-of-a-Kind Family Hannukah + Chanukah unit study
  • Broken Strings + Fiddler on the Roof + Persecution unit study*
  • The Golem & the Jinni + Kabbalah unit*

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