Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Sukkot Day 1-2

RaYBaSH’s Torah Thoughts
Sukkot Day 1 and 2
1. Leviticus 22:26-23:44
    Numbers 29:12-16
    Zechariah 14:1-21
    Luke 2:1-20
2. Leviticus 22:26-23:44
    Numbers 29:12-16
    I Kings 8:2-21
    Matthew 17:1-21
By Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Summary: These passages deal the qualifications of acceptableness of particular animal sacrifices and with the High Holy Day Celebration found on the Holy Hebraic Calendar Ordained by ADONAI including Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles).

Lev. 22:26-33 This is the Torah command regarding that a newborn calf, lamb, or kid must be left with its mother for seven days; one may not slaughter an animal and its offspring on the same day.

There are many suspected reasons for this mitzvah, because the Torah doesn’t flat out tell us why we are to act in such a manner toward cattle. Some believe that this is in order to allow a mother to enjoy her newborn for a week and to show mercy in regards to the feelings of the mother and newborn.

However, allow me to speak from a second hand story from a once good friend in which he relates that “Spunky,” a young calf who saw his mother slaughtered before its eyes, and afterwards Spunky began to become hostile and aggressive and he too had to be put down before his time.

I think we can reasonably conclude that the witnessed slaughter of his mother before his eyes may have caused this calf to become mean. Whether we want to admit it or not, animals such as cattle are intelligent and have feelings. They get scared and mad, so why wouldn’t they hold a grudge. I have heard of circus elephants that do.
It doesn’t specifically say in the Torah to separate them when slaughtering, but this is usually the practice done. If a prisoner of war and your whole family caught by a tyrannical regime, would you wish to see your family executed before your eyes? Regardless, it would make you sad and angry, true, but it would be less traumatic if you didn’t have to see them murdered before your very eyes. It is not to far different than with animals.

By this act my friend could have unwittingly been responsible for an animal who gores.

Exd 21:28-29   "If an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall surely be stoned and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall go unpunished. If, however, an ox was previously in the habit of goring and its owner has been warned, yet he does not confine it and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned and its owner also shall be put to death.”

Other reasons why not to slaughter a mother and her calf on the same day is so as not to kill two generations in a single day, to control ones appetite for meat.
Kosher slaughter is by far the most human way to do an animal in. There are many intricate laws regarding Kosher slaughter, so much so that one has to be ordained to be a Kosher Butcher, a Shochet! In short, the blade has to be razor sharp so the animal feels minimal pain. The killing stroke is but one swift cut from jugular to jugular and the rush of blood causes the animal to pass out as if it were drifting off to sleep.
The Scriptures continues to exhort us to take heed to how we treat the animal kingdom:

Deut. 22:6-7 If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, [whether they be] young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young: [But] thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, and take the young to thee; that it may be well with thee, and [that] thou mayest prolong [thy] days.

This is called by the rabbi’s and Sages as the least of the commandments and even Yeshua the Messiah makes mention of it in Matthew Chapter 5.

Matthew 5:18-19 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

It has become a scientific and sociological fact that animal cruelty can lead to cruelty toward human beings. Serial killer after serial killer say they started by mutilating neighborhood pets and other animals and eventually moved up to people! So how we treat and slaughter animals is VERY important to G-d and to your fellow man.
Leviticus 23:1-44

This chapter outlines the Holy Events and celebrations through out the Hebraic Year beginning with the Weekly Shabbat then speaking of Passover, the Counting of the Omer, Shavu’ot (Pentecost), Yom Teruah/Rosh HaShannah (Feast of Trumpets), Yom Kippurim (Day of Atonements), and Sukkot.

Seeing as this is the Torah reading for the first day of Sukkot, let us deal specifically with the Passages concerning Sukkot:

Lev. 23:34-44 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD. On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein. These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: Beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the LORD. Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.

Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles is the last in the cycle of the annual the High Holy Day Festivals which takes place in the fall of the year. On the secular solar calendar Sukkot falls in September or October. On the Hebraic and Rabbinical Lunar calendar Sukkot begins on the 15th day of the 7th month called Tishrei. Sukkot is an 8 day long Festival, 7 symbolizing completion and 8 symbolizing a new beginning. The first and last days of the Festival is considered and observed similar to a weekly Sabbath where no work is done, where the Sabbath candles are lit and the traditional blessings over the bread and wine are said and the community meets to worship ADONAI through prayer and reading of Biblical texts relating to the Holy Day. One may work during the intermediary days of the Festival. Seeing as the Tabernacle and Temple are no longer standing, prayers have been considered to temporarily replace the sacrifices until the 3rd Temple is rebuilt.

Sukkot is an Autumn or Latter Harvest Festival as well as a time of giving thanks. It is well documented that the pilgrims got their inspiration for Thanksgiving by reading about The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) in their Bibles. Historians speculate the pilgrim’s celebration was originally in early October, which, coincidentally, is during the time of Sukkot. They however, modified it from the original seven days as God commanded, to three days of thanksgiving. In our modern times, it has dwindled down to one day.

It is also a Festival commemorating Israel’s 40 year nomadic wandering in the desert and the future fruitfulness of the Promised Land. It is over a week long Holiday which calls every Jew and Hebrew back to their roots so in the midst of blessing and prosperity of the Promised Land one will not forget their humble beginnings.
This God Ordained Festival is observed in several ways, one of which and the most well known is by, as the Torah passages commands, building a temporary shelter and living in it all throughout and during the festival. If weather and climate permits one is expected to literally make this temporary shelter their home for the holiday, but in order to fulfill the commandment of “dwelling” in a sukkah one is encouraged to, at the very least, eat meals, study, pray and worship there. The Rabbinic decree has always been like over law and if ones life is put in danger one may forgo observing the commandment. For example, in the Diaspora many Jews now live in cold climates and may be able to spend time out in their sukkah eating or playing games, but it would be to cold and dangerous to ones health to sleep out there. God does not expect one to risk or in danger ones health in order to fulfill a commandment.


The sukkah (hut or booth) can be made out of virtually any material the only requirements by Torah and Rabbinic tradition is that it at least has three walls and the roof must be made from branches, leaves and or other natural foliage. And it is important to leave spaces in the roof to where one can look up and view the stars. The sukkah is decorated with fruits and harvest themed items; some even decorate them with holiday lights. People build sukkah’s in their yards, on their decks and on the balconies of their apartments, wherever they can. Along with the remembrance of the 40 year wandering of Israel in the Wilderness, all of this is to remind the individual of the fragility and temporality of our own bodies, that they are only temporary dwelling places for our souls and that our New Home is in the heavens among the stars in the World to Come where our God is.


The next item associated with and used during Sukkot is the four species, called the Lulav and etrog made up of a (lulav) palm frond, two (aravot) willow branches and three (hadassim) myrtle branches all bound together like a bouquet topped off with an etrog, a close cousin to the lemon. This represents the fruitfulness and bounty of the harvest.  The Lulav and Etrog are used during prayer and recitation of the Hallel Psalms (113-118) as praise unto ADONAI by being shook in all six directions, North, South, East, West, Up and Down. There are many teaching on the Lulav and Etrog. The Rabbi’s and Sages say that the Lulav and Etrog represent us, our bodies. The palm frond represents our spine, the willow leaves are the lips, the myrtle leaves the eyes, and the etrog represents the heart. It is also taught that the Etrog symbolizes Abraham had a big heart and was blessed with old age. The palm fronds represent Isaac who was spread out upon the altar. The myrtle has many leaves and represents the many children he had. The willow is like unto Joseph who died before his brothers just as the willow wilts before all the other foliage. The Lulav and Etrog have also been linked to the four directions and four elements. It has also been taught that the Lulav and Etrog represent different types of Jews where the Etrog which is aromatic and sweet is like unto person full of Torah and good deeds. The palm frond which comes from the date palm has a fruit that tastes sweet but has no fragrance and is like a person who has Torah knowledge but no good deeds. The myrtle smells nice but has no taste and is like one who has good deeds but no Torah knowledge. The willow has neither smell or taste and is like a person with neither Torah knowledge or good deeds.

Num. 29:12-16 And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work, and ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: And ye shall offer a burnt offering, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD; thirteen young bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year; they shall be without blemish: And their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals unto every bullock of the thirteen bullocks, two tenth deals to each ram of the two rams, And a several tenth deal to each lamb of the fourteen lambs: And one kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, his meat offering, and his drink offering.

During then time when the Temple stood many sacrifices were made:

·       The Feast of (Sukkot) Tabernacles there were a total of 71 bullocks, one for each nation and one for Israel.
·       15 rams, the number fifteen symbolizes the Completion of God's Grace, 
and His Kingdom. The Completion of God's Grace   3 x 5. 
The fifteenth day of the first month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, 
the symbol of the sinless body. The fifteenth day of the seventh month is the 
Feast of Tabernacles.  The Feast of Tabernacles marks the end of the sixth day of 
man and the beginning of the seventh day of the Kingdom.
·       105 lambs. The number 105 is made up of three Hebrew letters, Ayin, Lamed and Hey, and it creates the word meaning to rise or to go up. Going up is always referred to as going up to meet G-d on the Temple Mount to sacrifice and fellowship with Him. This speaks to us that ADONAI is King and we are created to serve and worship Him. This testifies to the obligation of the word to recognize and follow through with these facts.

·       8 goats offered during the feast, with accompanying meal and drink offerings. Eight is the number symbolizing new beginnings, speaking of a new week and a New Era, a New World, a Heavenly Divine Kingdom Age to Come. Goats also remind us of Yom Kippur and allude to the fact that this new rule and world will be without sin and will be forever new.

In the Time to Come Gentiles will celebrate Sukkot along with Hebrews and Jews.

Zechariah 14:1-21

Zechariah 14

 1Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
 2For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

These two verses along with verse five indicate that the Battle of Armageddon and the Return of Messiah happens all in one shot. Prophecy points to it being around the time of Sukkot, possibly the last day when traditions says that the books of judgment in heaven are sealed for the year and the fate of the world and everyone on it is set for the coming year.

 3Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
 4And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

These verses speak of Messiah’s physical return to earth.

 5And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

Survivors and the Remnant flee to safety.

 6And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:
 7But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
 8And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.
 9And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.
 10All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses.
 11And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.

We take back occupied Israeli Land and Jerusalem is safe and secure.

 12And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.
 13And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.
 14And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.
 15And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.

Here we see Jerusalem smite their enemies and the enemy is plagued. Could be a flesh eating virus or the result of radiation poisoning, or it could be entirely something else. All we know is that no matter how you slice it, it doesn’t look good for the bad guys.

 16And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
 17And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
 18And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
 19This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
 20In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD's house shall be like the bowls before the altar.
 21Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.

When Messiah returns, goyim will convert and keep the festival of Sukkot. Those who don’t will not get rain for the coming year and be plagued with famine and drought.

“Prophetically, we learn that in the Messianic Kingdom Age (the Millennium), it will be a biblical commandment for Gentile nations to observe Sukkot. The nations that choose to disobey this commandment to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to worship ADONAI will be cursed with drought. In fact, instead of Judeophobia, we read: "In those days, it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold out of all the languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the kanaph (corners where the fringes hang) of him that is a Jew, saying, 'We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.'" These Gentiles are literally grabbing hold of the tzitzit (ritual fringes) of Jews. I would assume that these are Messianic Jews. It might be good for Messianic Jews to have these fringes in order for a literal fulfillment of this prophecy to take place.

For those who "just want to be like Jesus," it should be noted that Yeshua observed all the Biblical holidays, including even Chanukah, which is a Jewish tradition, not a biblical commandment. It was at the Feast of Sukkot that Yeshua's own unbelieving brothers mocked Him, urging Him to make Himself known publicly. Presumably, they hoped to see their Brother arrested.” – Rick Aharon Chaimberlin, Litt. D. “Sukkot: Feats of Tabernacles”

Monte Judah says this about the Future Sukkot to Come:

“The Scripture definitely says much about the Feast of Tabernacles and our future. The reference to the tribulation saints described in the Book of Revelation is about the Feast of Tabernacles.
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; Revelation 7:9
And I said to him, “My Lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne shall spread His tabernacle over them.”
-- Revelation 7:14-15
The palm branches reveal the setting for the tribulation saints. They are gathered for the Feast of Tabernacles - the Feast of Ingathering. This is why the Lord’s throne is spread like a tabernacle over them. This is confirmed by the prophet Zechariah. He says the first event upon the Lord’s return to Jerusalem after the Day of the Lord, is the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles.
Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. -- Zechariah 14:16
That makes sense because the Feast of Trumpets symbolizes the resurrection, and Atonement symbolizes the Day of the Lord. It follows then that Tabernacles is the true ingathering of all of His saints at Jerusalem.
Apparently, God intends to use the future Feast of Tabernacles in the kingdom as the reference counter for the number of years in the millennial reign. The Feast of Tabernacles, therefore, will commemorate not only our ancestors’ exodus from Egypt, but also our greater exodus (the tribulation saints - the final generation) leading into the promised kingdom. This is consistent with God’s promise concerning the kingdom of David. King David served as the king of Israel for 40 years and held the greatest amount of territory in Israel’s history. God’s promise is to raise up David’s booth (tabernacle) in the same manner in the Messiah’s kingdom.
“In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David, and wall up its breaches; I will also raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old; that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by My name,” declares the Lord who does this. -- Amos 9:11-12”

Even though it is not required for the Goyim to dwell in a Sukkah:

Lev. 23:42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:

Nonetheless we see in Zechariah that Gentiles will convert and end up keeping Sukkot anyhow.

“The Talmud relates that in the future, when the pagans will complain to God about His preferential treatment of the Jews, He will tell them that this is because the Jews accepted and followed the Torah. They were not so much the "chosen people," as the "choosing people," so to speak; they chose to follow God's law.
The pagans will then plead, "Offer us the Torah anew and we will follow it." "You foolish people," God will answer, "he who prepares in advance of Shabbat can eat on Shabbat, but he who made no preparations, what can he eat? Nevertheless, I have an easy commandment called Sukkah, go and fulfill it..." Why is it called an easy commandment? Because it has no expense. Immediately each one will build a booth, a Sukkah, on his roof, but God will cause the sun to blaze as if it were the summer solstice. Each one will then kick his Sukkah, and leave... Thereupon God will laugh, as it is said, "He that sits in heaven and laughs." (Talmud - Avoda Zara 3a)
Although this passage is difficult for several reasons, I would like to focus on one of its main themes: that pagans will not be able to keep the commandment of Sukkah. The reason this is so strange is that of all the holidays, Sukkot has been perceived as the most universal, encompassing all the nations of the world.
The Talmud teaches:
Rabbi Eliezer said: "Why are 70 offerings brought on Sukkot? For the (merit of the) 70 nations of the world." (Sukkah 55b)
Rashi comments:
To bring forgiveness for them (the 70 nations which comprise the world), so that rain shall fall all over the earth.
The Sages stress that Sukkot has a universal element which is clearly absent in the other festivals: Passover represents the exodus from Egypt and the emergence of a Jewish nation; Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Torah to the Jews. It seems paradoxical to find this expression of the inability of the pagans to relate to God specifically in the context of Sukkot.
We may theorize that specifically on Sukkot, when the Jews concerned themselves with the welfare of non-Jews, pagans were expected to respond and to relate to God directly. There is, however, another passage which makes this approach untenable.
"And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations who came up against Jerusalem, shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the God of Hosts, and to keep the holiday of Sukkot. And whoever does not come ... to Jerusalem ... upon them there will be no rain." (Zechariah 14:16)
This passage from the prophecy of Zechariah describes the aftermath of apocalyptic battles, when the vanquished nations will celebrate Sukkot. This heightens the difficulty of the story from the Talmud quoted earlier. While the Talmud contains many explanations of biblical teachings, it does not have a mandate to argue with the prophets. Our question, then, is quite simple: How can the Talmud relate that in the future the pagans will be unable to keep Sukkot - when the Prophet tells us clearly that they will?
I believe that in the resolution of this apparent contradiction lies the essence of Sukkot. There are two distinct aspects to the holiday of Sukkot, represented by two commandments in the Torah:
"Also in the 15th day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep a feast to the Lord seven days; on the first day shall be a Sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath. And you shall take on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. And you shall keep it a feast to the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths seven days; all who are Israelites born shall dwell in booths. That your generations may know that I made the people of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God." (Leviticus 23:39-43)
The Torah speaks on the one hand of taking four species of fruit at harvest time, and on the other hand of sitting in the Sukkah, as the people who left Egypt did. We therefore see two commandments: 1) taking the four species, and 2) living in booths. One commandment has an agricultural impetus, the other a historical one. The agricultural aspect of the holiday is clearly universal, while the historical aspect is particular to the Jews.” – “Sukkot: The Universal Holiday” – www.aish.com

Perhaps many will immigrate to Israel proper also. There is a loose tradition that claims that if you convert to Judaism you are considered born again as a native Israeli; based on the Psalms.

 Psalm 87:1-7

 His foundation is in the holy mountains. The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah. I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there. And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her. The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah. As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all my springs are in thee.

Luke 2:1-20

The First Sukkot Yeshua ever celebrated is the day He was born.

There was no snow on the ground that fateful night, no wise men either; they didn’t come on the scene till two years later. Just animals and a few shepherds. The time of the year was not December but the Hebrew month of Tishrei, during the festival of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, which falls during September or October of the secular calendar.

Luke 2:1-5 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

You see, Caesar Augustus was a smart cookie. He knew the Jews would be all in one place, and going back to their hometowns for the last of the three pilgrimage festivals and He probably thought, “Since everyone is in one place, might as well kill two birds with one stone and collect taxes and a census.”

During Sukkot, every Jewish family by Torah is required to build a 3 sided hut for the festival to (if weather permits) live in or at least have a meal, a study or a time of prayer in there. It commemorates the 40 years that Israel wandered and camped in the desert. If one’s life or health was at risk they were not required to stay in a sukkah and seeing as Miriam (Mary) being pregnant with Yeshua (Jesus) Yosef (Joseph) sought out an inn but to no avail.

Luke 2:6-7 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And as fate would have it, they ended up in a sukkah anyway! Have you ever noticed most nativity scene? The figurines are usually under a 3 sided structure with a straw like roof… in other words, a sukkah! For the Messiah to be qualified as Messiah He had to obey the Torah in everyway and God caused it so that Yeshua was born in a sukkah!

During the intermediary days of Sukkot when it is permissible to work communal sukkah’s would be erected at work sites so people could fulfill the commandment of dwelling in a sukkah and celebrate Sukkot even at work. People would take rest and meal breaks under the sukkah. Back then, Inn’s had gardens and farms in order to provide food for their guests who lodged there. You just couldn’t run to the local supermarket or convenient store if you ran out of milk. And so we find a sukkah build for the workers on the property of this Inn Keeper where Miriam (Mary) and Yosef (Joseph) had to stay because the Baby wouldn’t wait for them to find a nice clean hotel room.

It was most likely the Eve of Sukkot when we find Miriam and Yosef at the Inn. Now seeing as they wouldn’t be staying in a hotel room and by necessity for Yosef to fulfill the command of building and dwelling in a Sukkah, according to Rabbinic Law it was acceptable for the Inn Keeper to give the sukkah to Yosef as a gift with the condition it be returned after the Festival, and for it to truly be Yosef’s and for him to fulfill the command of building a sukkah all that was required of Yosef is that he put a few branches on top the roof. I believe he did this while being quite the MacGyver and turning a feeding trough into a crib in a mad rush to prepare the sukkah for Miriam to deliver the Baby.

Yeshua said Himself that He is the Bread of Life (John 6:48). Yeshua was born in Beit-Lechem, Bethlehem, being translated, the House of Bread. And when He was born He was laid in, of all things, a feeding trough, a manger, in which grain, which is used to make bread, was put to feed the livestock. And in the Scriptures, especially in Psalm 23, we are likened as unto sheep, who at times eat grain.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The word “dwelt” comes from the word “sukkah”. So we can say Yeshua housed himself in a sukkah of flesh and “sukkah-ed” among us. This word “sukkah” as in it the root word “Shekinah” which is used to describe the manifest presence of God dwelling or “sukkah-ing” among Israel in the Tabernacle and Temple. So Yeshua the Messiah, the figurative Son of God, the emanation of God Himself “sukkah-ed” now in flesh among Israel as He did in a cloud in the Tabernacle and Temple.

This concludes commentary on the readings for the first day of Sukkot.

The following are the readings for the second day of Sukkot.

I Kings 8:2-21

I Kings 8 and II Chronicles 7, speaks of King Solomon fulfilling the life long dream of his father David and himself, of having built the Holy Temple of ADONAI.  It says the he “Chanukah-ed” it, dedicated it for use of Israel and the Goyim (Gentile Nations v.41-44), and had a 7 day festival and ended it on the 8th day, hence 8 days of Chanukah, just as we have today.

It should also be noted that this covenant made between Solomon and ADONAI made it so from there on out sacrifices are only to be made and accepted by God on the Temple Mount offered by a descendant of Aaron. Seeing as currently the Temple is not standing the sacrifices have temporarily been put on hold until the Temple is rebuilt.

The Ark of the Covenant is placed in the newly built Temple during the Festival of Sukkot, so that particular Sukkot doubled as a Chanukah celebration as well!

Today Sukkot is the last of the High Holidays and is the precursor to Chanukah as we know it. Yet both deal with the Dwelling place of G-d among men. So these eight crazy days of Sukkot (counting Shimini Eretz and Simchat Torah) leads us to the eight crazy nights of Chanukah!

Matthew 17:1-21

Here we see Yeshua going up to the place of His transfiguration. A few verses before, in 16:24, He speaks to His disciples of denying and afflicting themselves; two themes which are taught on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonements). Now, let’s look at the timeline. In Matthew 17:1 we see that it is six days later is the second day of Tabernacles. It was the second day, because the first and 8th day they stayed put and didn’t travel anywhere because it those days are treated and considered like Sabbaths in which it is required one to rest and not work or travel. Also, they would have been attending services at the Temple and or synagogues being a good Jew and as was His custom (Luke 4:16).

As we read on we find that Moses and Eliyahu (Elijah), representing the Law and the Prophets as well as current and future fulfillment of Messianic Prophecy, appear and converse with Yeshua as He had been transfigured before the eyes of his talmidim (disciples). At this point many Christians foolishly think Kefa (Peter) desires to build a shrine to all three in order to worship or at best revere them. No, he didn’t want to build a shrine to worship all three of them. He basically was saying, “Hey! If Moshe and Eliyahu are gonna stick around for Sukkot, let’s build them and You (speaking to Yeshua) a sukkah!” For it was required that all Jewish males of age have their own sukkah. Kefa also was a Torah Obedient Jew and was just zealous to obey the Torah concerning Sukkot on this unprecedented occasion.

Right after Yeshua and His three intimate talmidim (Kefa, Ya’akov, and Yochannon/ Peter, James and John) descent from the mount they encounter a man with a demon possessed son in which his other 9 talmidim could not exercise from the boy. Immediately Yeshua proceeds to deliver the boy from this demon and return him sound and whole to his father.

This concludes commentary on the readings for the second day of Sukkot.