Sukkot means "tents", "booths", and "temporary shelters", referring to the temporary dwellings in which the children of Israel lived during their forty years of wandering in the desert after the Egyptian exodus. "...I gave the children of Israel dwellings in tents when I brought them out of Egypt..." (Leviticus 23:42). The Festival commemorates this period in Israel's history.

But its significance is greater than mere historical commemoration. The primary spiritual motive for recalling - and representing - the "temporary dwelling" is to express our trust in God, who provides us with security, with bitachon. This motive is fuelled by the experiences of the time of wandering - manna, water and so on - and the feast, therefore, gives emphasis to the belief that God in some way provides for man's needs and man is grateful for this. All this is symbolised by the sukkah (tent), the precarious, open-air shelter in which Jews are required to live for a week.

This spiritual dimension is further emphasised by the fact that the Torah also specifies the time of the festival, which could be at any time of the year, since it is not linked to a specific historical event. It stipulates that it is to be observed with the last harvest of the year, "when the harvest from the threshing floor and the calf is gathered" (Deuteronomy 16:13), when the feeling of gratitude and thanksgiving to the Eternal One who provides for man's needs is strengthened.


Life in the tent

A special feature of Sukkot is the requirement to live in a sukkah. A sukkah (tent) is temporary accommodation in which you must spend as much time as possible during a week, at least during mealtimes. You don't have to eat in the tent if you are just having a snack, but you do have to have your regular meals there. 

Árbáá Minim

The prescribed four kinds of plants - a citrus fruit (etrog), a palm branch (lulav), a myrtle branch (hadas) and a willow branch (aravah). After obtaining the plants, we make a bouquet of them, which we then rejoice in front of the Eternal.


The idea of uspizin is to invite symbolic guests to visit our tent on Sukkot days. The traditional "uspizin" are the three forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and Moses, Aaron, Joseph and David. Nowadays, many tents invite the foremothers as well as other prominent female figures. 


(Click on the arrow to read them.)

The Eternal spoke to Moses, saying: Say to the Israelite people: On the fifteenth day of this seventh month there shall be the Feast of Booths to the Eternal to last seven days. The first day shall be a sacred occasion: you shall not work at your occupations; seven days you shall bring offerings by fire to the Eternal. On the eighth day you shall observe a sacred occasion and bring an offering by fire to the Eternal; it is a solemn gathering... you shall not work at your occupations. (Leviticus 23:33-36)

Mark, on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the yield of your land, you shall observe the festival of the Eternal to last seven days: a complete rest on the first day, and a complete rest on the eighth day. On the first day you shall take the product of hadar trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before your God the Eternal seven days. You shall observe it as a festival of the Eternal for seven days in the year; you shall observe it in the seventh month as a law for all time, throughout the ages. You shall live in booths seven days; all citizens in Israel shall live in booths, in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite people live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt—I, your God the Eternal.

"A season is set for everything, a time for every experience under heaven:

A time for being born and a time for dying,

A time for planting and a time for uprooting the planted; 

A time for slaying and a time for healing,

A time for tearing down and a time for building up; 

A time for weeping and a time for laughing,

A time for wailing and a time for dancing; 

A time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones,

A time for embracing and a time for shunning embraces; 

A time for seeking and a time for losing,

A time for keeping and a time for discarding; 

A time for ripping and a time for sewing,

A time for silence and a time for speaking; 

A time for loving and a time for hating;

A time for war and a time for peace."

Ecclesiates (3)

How to build a Sukkah in two minutes.

Did you know?

When we eat bread, it is always considered a regular meal. If it is raining or very cold, it is not compulsory to stay in the tent. The sick are also exempt, as are those who are prone to illness or fear - mictáer - of catching a cold, or who cannot bear the discomfort for some other reason. This latter relief does not apply to the first night of Sukkot - the first two in the diaspora - when the obligation to eat in Sukkah must be fulfilled.

Angol nyelvű illusztrált videó a szuká építésének módjáról, szabályairól.


Building and decorating a tent can be one of the most exciting festive activities of the year if the whole family gets involved.

Follow us


Who we are?

JCC Budapest

HU 1065 Budapest Révay utca 16.

+36 1 7910102

(H-P 8:00 - 19:00)

Get updates


Thank you for the supporters!


American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

Dutch Jewish Humanitarian Fund

Friends of JCC Budapest

JCC Budapest Friends