Must-Know Sukkot Words and Phrases

Key terms for the holidays of Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah.

Arava — Literally “willow,” one of the four species.

Arba minim — Literally “four species,” a quartet of plants used in Sukkot rituals: lulav, , hadas, and aravah. They symbolize joy for life and dedication to God. The four species are held and shaken during the Hallel service.

Etrog — Literally “citron,” one of the four species.

— Literally “rain,” additional prayer for rain read on Shemini Atzeret in the fall, introduced in the poetic form of an alphabetic acrostic.

Hadas —Literally “myrtle,” one of the four species.

Hakafah — Literally “circuit,” a celebratory processional  around the room done on Sukkot and Simchat . On Sukkot hakafot (the Hebrew plural of hakafah) are done holding the four species, except on . On Shemini Atzeret the hakafot are done while singing, dancing, and carrying Torahs.

Hallel — Literally “praise” this short service is a collection of Psalms and blessings recited on festivals and Rosh Hodesh (the new moon) as a display of joy and gratitude.

Hatan/Kallat Bereishit — Literally “Groom/Bride of Genesis,” this is a designation of honor for the person who is called up to the very first aliyah of the Book of Genesis on the morning of Simchat Torah.

Hatan/Kallat Torah 
— Literally “Groom/Bride of the Torah” this is a designation of honor for the person who is called up to the very last of the Book of Deuteronomy on the morning of Simchat Torah.

Hol Hamoed
 — Literally “the mundane of the festival,” the intermediary days falling between the most sacred days of the festivals of Sukkot and Passover. These days have fewer prohibitions and commandments associated with them than the first and last days of the festivals.

Hoshanah Rabbah 
— Literally, “the Great Call for Help,” the seventh day of Sukkot during which hakafot are made and Hoshanot are recited. According to one tradition, it is the very last day for God to seal a judgment.

Hoshanot — Prayers of salvation that are chanted on Hoshanah Rabbah while holding the four species. At the end of the hakafot, each person takes a bundle of willow twigs and strikes it on the ground for symbolic purposes. Each prayer begins with the word hoshanah, which means, “Save, I pray.”

Kohelet The Book of Ecclesiastes, a collection of wisdom, traditionally attributed to King Solomon. It is one of the five books from the part of the Bible called the Writings (Ketuvim) and is read on the intermediary Shabbat of Sukkot.

Lulav — Literally “palm branch,” one of the four species. It is also the name given to the general bundle of willow, myrtle, and palm branches.

Pitom — Literally “protuberance,” the bulging tip at the blossom end of the etrog. If it falls off naturally, the etrog is considered to be kosher. If it has been knocked off, the fruit is considered to have a blemish and thus be unfit for ritual use as one of the four species.

Shalosh Regalim
 — Literally “three legs,” the three major festivals of Passover, and Sukkot. On these occasions during biblical times Jews went on pilgrimages to Jerusalem to make special offerings at the Temple.

Shemini Atzeret
 — Literally “the Eighth Day of Gathering,” the eighth day of Sukkot, which holds special significance as its own holiday. Jews thank God for the harvest and ask for winter rain to prepare the ground for spring planting.

Simchat Torah
— Literally “rejoicing in the Torah,” the holiday that celebrates both the end and renewal of the annual cycle of reading the Torah. Typically, the congregation takes the Torah scrolls from the and parades with them in circles (hakafot) around the perimeter of the sanctuary.

Skhakh — Literally “covering,” the roofing of the , which is made from natural materials such as bamboo or palm branches.

Sukkah — Literally “hut” or “booth,” a temporary structure that is built in order to be dwelt in for the duration of the holiday of Sukkot. Its purpose is to commemorate the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt and to make a symbolic gesture that acknowledges humankind’s reliance upon God. The construction of a sukkah follows a set of specific regulations.

Ushpizin — Literally “guests,” the biblical guests that the Zohar teaches are to be invited into the sukkah (along with the poor) during each night of Sukkot. Traditionally these seven guests are Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, and David. Today many people add the names of women to the list.

Zman Simchateinu — Literally “the time of our rejoicing,” an expression often used when referring to the days of Sukkot.


This Week’s Event Schedule!

Friday Service, 9/21, will begin at 5:30 with refreshments & 6:00 service to follow.

Minyan & Tisch this Saturday, 9/22 at 9:00 am
Sunday 9/22 there will be Sunday school beginning at 9:20 with Hebrew as well as Sukkot raising!
The Sukkah decorating will take place at 4:30 on Wednesday, 9/26, and will take the place of Hebrew school classes.
**Please be reminded that if you have not paid for Break-Fast, the Yizkor book, or have not RSVP’d and paid for Sukkot Dinner on 9/28, please see Jan in the office. 
Sukkot Dinner will be at 6:00 pm on Friday 9/28 with 7:30 Service to follow.

Yom Kippur…..What is Sin

 By Rabbi Albert S. Goldstein





I have often wondered whether the trouble some of us have with our religious observance, attending worship services and understanding our prayer book might perhaps be helped if we translated certain key words from their old-fashioned language to more current idiom.

For example, words like sin, repentance, and salvation: To all too many of us they carry little meaning, strike no significant chord in us. Not because they represent no realities, but because these words themselves belong to a bygone age when people actually said of some act, “That’s a sin.”

Today, we would put it differently. We would say of the same behavior: “It’s boorish, antisocial, indecent, neurotic.”

What is sin? It is sickness of soul, unhappiness with what we are doing with our lives, to ourselves and to others who share our life: the unhappy misapplication of our talents and energies in directions that bring us no sense of fulfillment, no feeling of achievement or joy in living.

We have no sinners today. Of course not! Only millions of delinquents, of alienated, frustrated, hung-up, drug-addicted, sex-obsessed, anxiety- and guilt- ridden neurotics. That’s all; but certainly no sinners–perish forbid!

And translated into everyday language, what is repentance? What, indeed, but the need and the longing to change, the effort to heal ourselves, the quest for a cure for our sickness of soul.

What does a skillful psychiatrist accomplish when he is successful? He turns his patient around. He redirects the sick way the patient thinks and feels and behaves, helps him change his pathologically unhappy mode of operation for another way, a way that will make him regard himself with esteem rather than with contempt. To change, to turn from a bad to a better way, is precisely the meaning of , the Hebrew word for repentance.

Or, take the word salvation. It is just an old word, which means being saved, rescued from some danger or trouble or disease. Translated into current language, it means being healthy: having a wholesome sense of well-being at peace with oneself and the world.

Sin, then, is just sickness of the soul. Repentance is the prescription for its cure. Salvation is health; the cure itself.

From Moments of Transcendence: Inspirational Readings for Rosh Hashanah, edited by Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins © 1992 Jason Aronson Inc.


Mayor Junie White is Our Mensch of the Month

The name Spartanburg, South Carolina brings many things to mind. Some people may think of the large number of colleges we have, such as Wofford, Converse, and USC Upstate. Others may connect Spartanburg with its nickname, Hub City, which refers to the role the city played in the 19th century railroad network in this region of the state. But if there’s one man whose name is easily associated with Spartanburg, it’s most certainly Junie White.

Now in his third term as mayor, Junie is a native of Gaffney. Shortly after graduating from high school in 1957, he joined the Navy and was stationed at Virginia Beach. And a lucky thing that was, too. For it was there that he met Irene, a young Jewish Canadian wom- an, whom he married in 1961.

For just a few months, the couple remained in Montreal, the city of Irene’s birth. After returning to the Upstate with his bride, Junie accepted a job with a local insurance company. One day, while driving down the not-yet-finished interstate highway running just outside of town, he noticed a gas station located on a frontage road that had recently come up for sale. Junie bought the business, though at the time he knew little about fixing cars. But he hired the best mechanics he could find and learned whatever he needed to know directly from his em- ployees. Now in its third location on South Pine Street, Junie’s Exxon station is among the best-known businesses in Spartanburg and Junie White one of the city’s best-known business- men.

Sometime during the late 70s or early 80s, Rabbi Stauber stopped by the station and spoke with Junie about conversion. The idea seemed inviting, realizing as he did that one family should have one faith. But Junie didn’t merely become a member of the Spartanburg Jewish community; he assumed a leading role in the life of the temple, serving for many years on the board, as president, a very generous contributor, and as advisor-at-large to rabbis and congregants alike.

Those of us who have lived in Spartanburg for more than just a few years can remem- ber when it was small and sleepy with a quiet downtown, and not much else. But during Junie’s tenure as mayor, we have seen the city develop in ways that few of us could have im- agined. Morgan Square now bustles with restaurants, clubs, boutiques and other kinds of businesses that earlier, we would have needed to go to Greenville to see. Spartanburg has changed socially in very positive ways, too. Junie is extremely proud of the city’s welcoming culture, making it a place where people of all races, religions, creeds and orientations easily find themselves at home. Much of the credit belongs to Mayor Junie, whose openness, energy and leadership have enabled Spartanburg to grow into what he rightfully says is “one of the finer cities in the South.”

But when asked just what role he played in the Spartanburg Renaissance, Junie replied as one might expect of a man who learns from his employees and makes his wife’s people his own: “I’m just a little part of that.”

Photo Credit: Spartanburg Herald Journal

Hadassah News!

Please join us for Hadassah’sTisch on Saturday, October 6 at 9:30 am. We hope to have a Minyan so Hannah Keen can practice with the Torah for her upcoming Bat Mitzvah. There will be a yummy brunch after- wards, so do come if you are able. It will be a pleasant way to spend a Saturday morning. Please RSVP to Jan at the Temple office if you are planning on coming.

We are having a Hadassah meeting on Wednesday, October 17 at 11:00 in the Sisterhood Activity Room. Bring your lunch with youand plan on staying for the Rabbi’sBrown Bag Discussion. It is always an informative and entertaining program to attend.

We would like to encourage everyone to bring a toiletry item for the basket to be donated to Safe Homes Network as well as a nonperishable food item for the food barrel when you are coming to the Temple. This is an easy way to help people who are in need of assistance, and we hope you will consider performing this Mitzvah on a regular basis.

See you around the Temple.

Nancy Rosenberg

Sisterhood News!

As summer ends and fall approaches, Sisterhood starts to look forward to the upcoming bake sale, which will take place on November 8. We will be making calls after Yom Kippur to find out if you would contribute baked goods or other food items that is your specialty as well as if you’d like to help out with our community baking and setup. If you are not a baker, donations are always appreciated to help offset our costs. All help is appreciated whether or not you are a Sisterhood member.

There will be a board meeting September 23 at noon in the education building.

Wishing everyone a good and sweet New Year.

Cheryl August