Torah Restoration Ministries

Evangelist Daniel John Lee

And to the angel of the congregation in Philadelphia write -- These things says He that is holy, He that is true, He that has the Key of David, He that opens, and no man shuts, and shuts, and no man opens.  I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept My Word, and have not denied My Name . . ."


Sukkot 2011: The Season of Our Joy!

by Daniel John Lee

Every year, sometime in the month of October, the Jewish people celebrate an 8 day festival known as Sukkot. In english, the word Sukkot translates to Tabernacles. Or booth. Or tent. This is literally a feast of tents and tabernacles. All one has to do is visit Jerusalem during this time to see the many colorful tents and pavilions erected all across the city, on roof tops, on balconies, in hotels, everywhere. Sukkot is by far the most joyous and anticipated festival of the entire year.

In scriptures, we read about specific commandments for this 8 day holiday. For one, we are commanded to buy whatever type of food we enjoy, and this includes alcoholic beverages if that is what we desire. In essence, Yah intends for His people to party and feast during these eight days of living in tents.

The origins of Tabernacles are clear. When Israel sojourned from Egypt, they were nomads, seeking the promised land, and so lived in tents while they travelled. In fact celebrating this feast is supposed to remind us of how our ancestors lived in tabernacles as they wandered the wilderness. Even Yahweh was housed in a tabernacle or tent, which was constructed according to specific instructions given from Yahweh to Moses. Our ancestors, who had no certain dwelling place, but were searching for a better country, remind us that we are but pilgrims in this present world, awaiting the return of Messiah who will usher in a better, more permanent age.

Several hundred years later, during the golden age of Israel under King Solomon, the Temple was dedicated during the Feast of Sukkot. This was the perfect time for a Temple dedication as the Feast is all about new beginnings. The number 8 in scripture always signifies a new beginning or a fresh start.

Several hundred years after that, Judah had fallen into apostasy, forgetting the Torah. A good and righteous king, Hezekiah, rediscovers the Torah and is stricken with how much they have failed to honor Yahweh. He recognizes that it is nearly time for the Feast of Sukkot, and so orders his people to keep the feast. This becomes such a time of revival and joy, that the king orders them to extend the 8 day feast another full week!!!

Skipping forward yet another several hundred years, it is believed by some scholars that Yahshua was born during the time of Sukkot. Though the Jews would desire to gather in Jerusalem to pitch their tents, many had been forced to other cities during this time due to the Roman Census. As a consequence, many of the Jews had set up their tabernacles around their homes, or were staying in local inns or temporary dwellings. Thus, the reason why there was no room at the inn for the parents of Yahshua. Some speculate that the manger Yahshua was born in was not a manger at all, but rather one of the many sukkas set up for the festival. What is certain is that Yahshua was born in the fall, as the winter would have been too cold for the shepherds to be out tending their flocks. Since this feast is all about new beginnings and about Yah tabernacling with man, it would make perfect sense that Yahweh would choose that time to have His Son be born on earth.

Because of this, I have always enjoyed listening to the more religious "christmas" songs during the Feast of Tabernacles, such as O Holy Night or Away in a Manger.

A Jewish wedding is traditionally 7 days long and the wedding themes run throughout this festival. Ultimately, Sukkot is about Yahweh eventually coming to earth to tabernacle among men. The ultimate wedding of the great Bride Groom with His Bride. We read that in the future, all nations will one day go up to Jerusalem every year for the Feast of Tabernacles, and those who refuse to do so will suffer from crippling drought. In the end, all nations will be united by this feast which is why Sukkot is also known as the Feast of Nations.

I hope this article has helped to better explain the origins of this Feast and why it is truly one of the most joyous festivals of the entire year. La chaim!