Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Clermont Sukkot and Simchat Torah services open to community

Temple L'Chayim will host a combined Jewish Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah Service that will be open to members as well as to the entire Central Florida community. Cantor Isaac Kriger and Rabbi Howard Schwartz of Temple L'Chayim will lead this celebration with traditional services, special Torah readings, prayers, songs and a festive meal from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4.  

Sukkot: This holiday begins at sundown on Sept. 27 and it ends on Sunday, Oct. 4. The Festival of Sukkot begins the fifth day after Yom Kippur, which is also known as the Day of Atonement. Sukkot is quite a drastic transition, from one of the most solemn holidays in our year to one of the most joyous. Sukkot is so unreservedly joyful that it is commonly referred to as the Season of Rejoicing. Sukkot has a dual historical and agricultural significance. Sukkot commemorates the 40-year period during which the children of Israel were wandering in the desert, living in temporary shelters. Agriculturally, Sukkot is a harvest festival, also referred to as the Festival of Ingathering. The word Sukkot also means Festival of Booths and refers to the temporary dwellings that we are commanded to live in during this holiday in memory of the period of wandering. Also called Hashanah Rabbah, this holiday celebrates a great deliverance of our ancestors. Sukkot lasts for seven days. The two days following the festival, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, are separate holidays yet are related to Sukkot and are commonly thought of as part of Sukkot. Temple L'Chayim will celebrate this festival in a sukkah.

Simchat Torah: This holiday begins on Oct.5 and ends on Oct. 6 this year, to rejoice the Torah. Simchat Torah is especially important for Temple L'Chayim as they have a very special and rare Holocaust Torah that came from two synogogues in Prague. The Jewish community in Prague collected and hid 1600 Torahs from the Nazis during World War II. Simchat Torah is the Joy Of The Torah holiday where we will complete the reading of the book of Deuteronomy and begin reading again from Genesis as well as parade around our synagogue with the Torah Scroll. Everyone will be invited to wave the lulav-palm, myrtle and willow branches and the etrog, a citron, which is a very fragrant and unique variety of lemon. This celebrates the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings and the beginning of a new cycle. Simchat Torah is a component of the biblical Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret or the Eighth Day of Assembly, which follows immediately after the festival of Sukkot. 

Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah Celebration Feast: Everyone is invited to join in a special meal that will be organized by Sandee Kosner and served by the Temple L'Chayim Sisterhood to celebrate the fall harvest. It will be held after services on Sunday night, Oct. 4 starting at 7 p.m. for a $5 per person donation. This festive meal will include all of the traditional Sukkot favorites including challah, bagels, egg salad, tuna salad, kugels, fresh fruits, vegetable salads and plenty of extra delicious treats. Sign up and pre-pay by Friday, Sept. 25.

For more information about these services, membership and special Temple L'Chayim events, contact Nathan Axel at 352-242-6135, NAxel@cfl.rr.com.  Visit: http://www.Facebook.com/TempleLChayim and http://www.TempleLChayim.com.


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