The Jewish festival which gives thanks for the fall harvest is called Sukkot which means “booths” or “huts.” It also commemorates the 40 years of Jewish wandering in the desert after the giving of the Torah atop Mt. Sinai. Sukkot is celebrated five days after Yom Kippur on the 15th of Tishrei.
One tradition of Sukkot is the commandment to literally “dwell in booths.” We erect a sukkah outside our homes and at our temples. A sukkah is a temporary booth or hut with at least three walls and a “roof” whereby you can still see the stars. Many people hang fruit and decorations in their sukkah. For seven days, we eat, entertain and even sleep in the sukkah.
On Sukkot, we shake the Lulav (which is made up of palm frond, willow and myrtle leaves) and an etrog (citron.) We wave the lulav and etrog on each of the first seven days of Sukkot. The proper time is in the morning and the following blessing is said: “Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us concerning the waving of the lulav.”