Outreach – being the difference

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Once again the community of Holme Grange School welcomed Rabbi Zvi of the Jewish Community of Berkshire (JCoB). leading our morning assembly, Rabbi Zvi explained about the joyful holiday of Sukkot, the erecting of the sukkah hut and he told us the story of the magic gourd.

The Eaton Grange pupils of Years 7-9 and the children in Years 1 & 2 participated in informative workshops, learning more about the traditions of Judaism, especially the festival of Sukkot.

As soon as the solemn day of Yom Kippur has passed, the Jewish community focuses on the traditions of the upcoming holiday of Sukkot. These four days between Yom Kippur and Sukkot are characterized by frenetic activity—purchasing of the Four Kinds, erecting the sukkah hut, inviting guests for the forthcoming holiday, shopping for and preparing all the meals, and purchasing new clothing in honor of the holiday.

Sukkot is one of the three Biblical traditional holidays of pilgrimage; an agricultural festival that originates from the Bible days and is considered a thank you tribute for the fruit harvest. Herein lies the origin of the Christian Harvest festival.

Sukkot is the “Feast of Ingathering.” (Exodus 34:22) On a spiritual level as well, Sukkot brings along the opportunity to survey our resources and take stock of our abundance. In full recognition of God’s role in the productivity of our lives, we express gratitude that in an often-tenuous world, we are being sustained. How can we acknowledge in a continual way our thankfulness that our lives are sustained? We acknowledge our gratitude through food.

Etrog (אתרוג) – the fruit of a citron tree and represents the heart. Lulav (לולב) – a ripe, green, closed frond from a date palm tree which represents the backbone. Hadass (הדס) – boughs with leaves from the myrtle tree which represents our eyes. Aravah (ערבה) – branches with leaves from the willow tree which represents our lips.

Rabbi Zvi blows the shofar – an ancient musical ram’s horn.

MOV02720 from Holme Grange School on Vimeo.

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