Celebrate Sukkot and Simchat Torah 5782
Sep 01 , 2021/Category



MON, SEP 20 – WED, SEP 22, 2021

We celebrate Sukkot to give thanks for the fall harvest. Meaning “booth,” a sukkah is a small outdoor hut built in our backyards, terraces, synagogues, and neighborhoods decorated with fruits and flowers. It is a place where we share our meals with family and friends. In fact, it is considered a mitzvah to enjoy this festival in the sukkah.

Torah tells us “to take the fruit of a beautiful tree” during Sukkot. The etrog is a citron, a fragrant fruit with a thick, white rind that ripens to a very bright yellow. Although bitter, it has a very strong citrus fragrance. The lulav is a combination of the date palm, willow, and myrtle held together by the woven palm branch. As we recite blessings over them, we wave the lulav in six directions (north, south, east, west, up, and down) to symbolize that God can be found everywhere.

The sukkah is also a reminder of the Israelites who lived in huts during the 40 years wandering in the desert after receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai. Thus, the end of Sukkot marks the beginning of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, the festival of rejoicing in the Torah.

Mitzvah Social Action Project

Tuesday September 21 at 9:00 AM

We begin this New Year, a new cycle of our Jewish lives, filled with gratitude. As we celebrate the earth’s bounty and once again begin the Book of Genesis, we are especially reminded of our abundant blessings. After all, the study of Torah leads to action. It is only appropriate that we at Rodeph Sholom, we pursuers of peace, include a social action project to celebrate Sukkot and Simchat Torah. Following the Sukkot Morning Service, we will join together to share our bounty by packing dignity kits for the West Side Campaign Against Hunger, which provides New Yorkers access to healthy food and supportive services. Please register to participate in this Mitzvah Project in person or via livestream!


Family Activities including flower chains, glitter webs, and paper lanterns to decorate your Sukkah.

Rabbi Sari Laufer teaches us how to say the blessings and shake the lulav.

BimBam’s Lego Sukkot Video


TUE, SEP 28 – WED, SEP 29

Torah cannot be Torah without us; it needs us. Therefore, we must read it, we must study it, we must discuss it and debate it. We must carry it. We must dance among its verses, discovering ourselves in its chapters.

– Rabbi Steven Moskowitz, Congregation L’Dor V’Dor, Oyster Bay, NY

Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah mark the end of the High Holy Days when we may simply acknowledge our fervent prayers and our relationship with God. The message that Simchat Torah conveys is how important Torah is in our Jewish lives, as a source of Jewish identity and the gift we received from God.

There is an enduring tradition on Simchat Torah. We take the Torah scrolls out of the ark to celebrate with much joy the completion and new beginning of the annual Torah reading cycle. In this time of celebration, we can rejoice that this CRS family is still together, still able to share our High Holy Days in impassioned prayer and reflection. May this notion serve to fortify our souls and strengthen our resolve to go from strength to strength.