Happy Feast of Tabernacles from CAMERA's Partnership!
CAMERA's Partnership of Christians and Jews wishes all our Jewish friends a very happy Feast of Tabernacles! Chag Sukkot Sameach!
Dear Christian Leader,
The biblical holiday of Sukkot (Booths or Tabernacles in English) began Monday evening, September 20th, and will be observed until the evening of September 27th. This seven-day festival brings an end to the High Holy Days, which began the evening of September 6th with Rosh HaShanah (the new year), followed by Yom Kippur (the day of atonement) on September 16th.
The Feast of Tabernacles commemorates the forty years the Israelites wandered in the desert on their way to the Promised Land, which is the modern State of Israel. During their journey, the newly delivered slaves from Egypt lived in temporary booths (sukkot) and depended daily on the faithfulness of God for necessities such as food and water in what was a very barren wilderness.
More than three thousand years later, the descendants of those who were sustained in the desert continue to observe Sukkot according to the commandment in Leviticus 23:42-43, which says, "You shall dwell in booths for seven days…that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt…”
Today, this holiday is celebrated through the construction of temporary structures, which represent the booths the Israelites lived in while traveling through the wilderness. During the seven days of Sukkot, those who observe this holiday pray, eat, sleep and entertain guests in these fragile dwellings, or tabernacles.
According to the prophet Zechariah, the Feast of Tabernacles is not only to be celebrated by Jews. It is intended to be observed by Gentiles as well! As it says in Zechariah 14:16, one day all nations will be required to come up to Jerusalem every year to keep the Festival of Booths.
In anticipation of the future reality prophesied by Zechariah, and in obedience to the prophetic call for all nations to keep the Feast, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem has hosted annual celebrations since 1980. As a result, tens of thousands of Christians from all over the world have been drawn to Israel where, among other things, they participate in a colorful parade through the streets of Jerusalem and demonstrate their solidarity with the Jewish people and support for the State of Israel.
Because of the restrictions on travel in response to COVID, last year's celebration was held online and this year's events are online as well. However, observing the Feast online resulted in even more Christians around the world becoming involved in expressing their love for, and gratitude to, the Jewish people for being the keepers of the Word of God and the bearers of world redemption.
As the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 9:4, "...to them [the Jewish people] belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah..."
In recognition of the fact that the Jewish people are beloved for the sake of their ancestors, and the gifts and calling of God on this people are irrevocable (Romans 11:28-29), we all must determine anew to stand in unwavering unity with Israel and the Jewish people - no matter what. And during this week in which Jews commemorate how God provided for them in the wilderness, let us respond to Zechariah's call to the nations and join in the celebration!
Chag Sukkot Sameach!
Happy Feast of Tabernacles!