SUKKOTH

This week marks the celebration of Sukkoth, a Jewish holiday of thanksgiving which traditionally was observed at harvest time. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.

Celebrating Sukkoth involves building a sukka — a hut in which the family eats its meals during the week the holiday is observed. We’re listening to the sounds of a sukka being constructed.

“This is a wonderful holiday and it’s origins are in the Bible where it was clearly agriculturally linked.”

Max Tictin is Assistant Head of the Judaic Studies Program at George Washington University.

“It was a holiday which marked the onset of the late fall and winter with the rain season. And in that setting, in and out of the small villages and hamlets where people lived, they would build temporary housing which would be called sukka huts. in these huts, in which it became ritualized at a later point, they lived for eight days at precisely the fall equinox. It was really a way of saying ‘we live out in the open, but we’re sheltered by God’s protection.’ So that when one builds a sukka these days, the whole thing is temporary, but the most important part of the sukka is the roof. The roof must be one which gives you enough protection so that when you’re sitting at the table inside the sukka, the raindrops that come in won’t spoil your soup, but also it’s got to have a roof which has got enough opening in it so that you can see the stars.”

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the American Museum of Natural History. Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

SUKKOTH

Sukkoth is the Jewish holiday of thanksgiving and remembrance.
Air Date:10/05/1998
Scientist:
Transcript:

This week marks the celebration of Sukkoth, a Jewish holiday of thanksgiving which traditionally was observed at harvest time. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.

Celebrating Sukkoth involves building a sukka -- a hut in which the family eats its meals during the week the holiday is observed. We're listening to the sounds of a sukka being constructed.

"This is a wonderful holiday and it's origins are in the Bible where it was clearly agriculturally linked."

Max Tictin is Assistant Head of the Judaic Studies Program at George Washington University.

"It was a holiday which marked the onset of the late fall and winter with the rain season. And in that setting, in and out of the small villages and hamlets where people lived, they would build temporary housing which would be called sukka huts. in these huts, in which it became ritualized at a later point, they lived for eight days at precisely the fall equinox. It was really a way of saying 'we live out in the open, but we're sheltered by God's protection.' So that when one builds a sukka these days, the whole thing is temporary, but the most important part of the sukka is the roof. The roof must be one which gives you enough protection so that when you're sitting at the table inside the sukka, the raindrops that come in won't spoil your soup, but also it's got to have a roof which has got enough opening in it so that you can see the stars."

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the American Museum of Natural History. Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.