Jericho Unveiled: Your Ultimate Pilgrim's Guide for September & October 2023, Including Sukkot, in Israel.

a stone arch on the beach with the ocean in the background
By Daniel Goodman

Updated September 19, 2023.

sukkot four species israel

As you step into this ancient oasis, we will journey through time, tracing the footsteps of prophets and conquerors and uncovering the rich tapestry of stories that have shaped this remarkable city. Jericho, Often referred to as the "City of Palms," let's explore Jericho with its archaeological wonders, spiritual significance, and a landscape that resonates with echoes of the past.

Immerse yourself in a truly enriching and spiritually uplifting experience in Israel and the City of Jericho!

In September, as the harvest season begins - the city of Jericho takes on a special significance. This ancient city, nestled in the Jordan Valley, is pivotal in biblical history, particularly in the story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho.

Throughout September, the land yields its crop, echoing the agricultural traditions of ancient times. The city of Jericho is known for its fertile land and in ancient times, agriculture was a significant part of the region's economy, including cultivating various crops like dates, grains, and other fruits. Jericho's access to water sources, particularly the spring of Elisha, made it ideal for farming.

Who was the prophet Elisha?

Elisha stands as a prominent figure in the Old Testament, recognized for his pivotal role as a prophet and as the chosen successor to the renowned prophet Elijah. In both Judaism and Christianity, he is esteemed as one of the major prophets, thought to have lived during the 9th century BCE.

The Spring of Elisha, mentioned earlier, is traditionally associated with a miraculous event involving Elisha. According to the Bible, Elisha made bitter water potable by casting salt into a spring, symbolizing his prophetic ability to bring healing and restoration.

'I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.'" (2 Kings 2:21)

Historical Significance of Sukkot:

The Jewish festival of Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles or the Feast of Booths commemorates two prominent historical events in Jewish tradition.

It commemorates the Israelites' 40-year journey through the desert after the Exodus from Egypt, where they dwelled in temporary booths or shelters (sukkot).

It marks the agricultural harvest festival celebrated in ancient Israel, thanking God for the bountiful harvest. Sukkot is often called the "Festival of Ingathering" because it coincides with the year's final harvest. It's a time when agricultural products, especially fruits and grains, have been gathered and stored for the winter.

How is Sukkot celebrated?

  1. Building Sukkot: One of the central traditions of Sukkot is the construction of the Sukkah, temporary booths or huts. In Israel, you'll find sukkot in many homes, on balconies, in gardens, and even on sidewalks. Families and communities gather to decorate these booths with branches, fruits, and decorations.
  2. Dwelling in Sukkot: During Sukkot, it's customary to eat meals and even sleep in the sukkah. This practice connects people to the Israelites' journey through the desert and reinforces the sense of humility and reliance on God.
  3. The Four Species: The "Four Species," which include an etrog (citron), a lulav (palm branch), three Hadassim (myrtle branches), and two Aravot (willow branches). These species are used in special rituals, such as waving them in all directions during prayers. Each of these plant elements carries agricultural symbolism and represents various aspects of the harvest season and the land of Israel.
  4. Harvest Festivals: In agricultural communities and on kibbutzim, Sukkot is an occasion for elaborate harvest festivals. These events often include music, dancing, food, and the showcasing of locally grown produce.

Sukkot in Israel is a vibrant and joyful celebration that brings together tradition, faith, and a deep connection to the land's agricultural heritage. It's a time when the entire country comes alive with the spirit of unity, gratitude, and celebration.

September/October 2023 Events Israel.

  • The Israel Storytelling Festival was founded and curated by the writer and theatre personality Yossi Alfi. This event takes place during the intermediate days of Sukkot; the festival features a diverse array of storytellers who share their narratives, offering an insightful glimpse into Israel's ever-evolving social and cultural landscape over seven enriching days.
  • The pioneering Haifa International Film Festival, Israel's inaugural international film celebration, continues to grace the city of Haifa with its annual cinematic brilliance.
  • An enchanting five-day revelry, the Tamar Festival, traditionally held during Sukkot amid the awe-inspiring backdrop of Masada in Israel's Negev Desert, stands as the nation's grandest musical extravaganza. This festival showcases the talents of beloved Israeli musicians and invites the world's diverse musical heritage to harmonize within an unparalleled desert oasis. Many of the festival's sunrise concerts enable the breathtaking sunrise over the desert and the Dead Sea to provide a unique ambience serving as a stunning backdrop.
  • During the joyous intermediate days of Sukkot, Spicy Way Farm in Beit-Lechem-Haglilit hosts a vibrant celebration of flavours and hues. This fiesta invites visitors to partake in creative culinary workshops centred around the deep red pepper Paprika. Attendees can immerse themselves in guided tours through the lush Paprika fields and savour delectable dishes inspired by this fiery spice, making it a truly uplifting experience for the senses.
  • The Jerusalem March is an annual event typically held during the Sukkot festival in Jerusalem, Israel. It is a colourful and lively parade in which thousands of people from around the world, including international Christian delegations, join together to express their support for Israel and celebrate the unity of Jerusalem.

You're invited to join us in our upcoming instalment, where we'll continue our exploration of Christian and historical sites, as well as immersive experiences in other captivating locations throughout the Holy Land.

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