On Oct. 13, Rollins’ Jewish Student Union (JSU) celebrated the religious holiday called Sukkot. The celebration began when JSU President Dan Berlinger ‘13 gave a detailed explanation of both the historical and agricultural significance of Sukkot for all the non-Jewish members in attendance. The holiday commemorates the desert wandering of Jews during the Exodus. Sukkot is also a harvest festival and is otherwise known as the Festival of Ingathering.
Before attendees arrived, Berlinger had set up a more modern version of a Sukkah, the traditional shelter inhabited during the festival. A Sukkah must have at least three walls and should be covered by material that will not blow away in the wind. It resembles a small hut with canvas coverings tied or nailed down. A Sukkah may be any size, as long as it is large enough to fulfill the commandment of dwelling in it, meaning someone could actually live there.
Personally, it was interesting to learn about Jewish culture. It is always valuable to witness and gain an understanding of how all religions have certain intersections–something I think many religious people forget.
In the beginning of the ceremony, Berlinger recited two prayers: the Lulav and the Etrog, also known as the Four Species. The prayers signify that “God is everywhere.”
The Four Species are made up of a palm frond, branches from a willow tree, boughs from a myrtle tree, and the fruit from a citron tree. The bunch is tied together and then waved to the north, south, east and west to illustrate that God is in all places.After the ceremony finished, attendees gathered and closed by “breaking bread,” or in this case, eating pizza. If you are interested in learning more about the Jewish faith, or if you are already practicing, contact Dan Berlinger at DBerlinger@ Rollins.edu.
There are always ways to become more involved and informed through the fun events sponsored by cultural organizations such as the Jewish Student Union.