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For the Holiday of Sukkot ("Tabernacles")

detailed aliyot readings

From Yom Kippur to Sukkot

On the Jewish calendar, there is a quick transition from the somber time of the Jewish High Holidays (Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur) to the week-long festival of Sukkot (i.e., "Tabernacles"). If the High Holidays focus on the LORD as our Creator, our Judge, and the One who atones for our sins, then Sukkot is the time when we joyously celebrate all that He has done for us. Prophetically understood, the seven days of Sukkot picture olam haba, the world to come, and the Millennial Kingdom reign of Mashiach ben David. If Yeshua was born during Sukkot (i.e., conceived during Chanukah, the festival of lights), then another meaning of the "word became flesh and 'tabernacled with us" (John 1:14) extends to the coming kingdom age, when He will again "sukkah" with us during his glorious reign from Zion.

High Holidays

This year Sukkot begins just after sundown on Sunday, Oct. 16th (i.e., Tishri 15 on the Jewish calendar). The festival is celebrated for seven days (i.e., from Tishri 15-21) during which we "dwell" in a sukkah -- a hut of temporary construction, with a roof covering (schach) of raw vegetable matter (i.e., branches, bamboo, etc.). The sukkah represents our dependence upon God's shelter for our protection and divine providence. We eat our meals in the sukkah and recite a special blessing (leshev Ba-Sukkah) at this time.

In addition to the Sukkah, the most prominent symbol of Sukkot is the Arba'at Ha-minim (אַרְבַּעַת הַמִּינִים) - "the Four Species," or four kinds of plants explicitly mentioned in the Torah regarding the festival of Sukkot: "On the first day you shall take: 1) the product of goodly trees (etrog), 2) branches of palm trees (lulav), 3) boughs of leafy trees (hadas), and 4) willows of the brook (aravot), and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days" (Lev. 23:40). We wave the "four species" (held together as a bouquet with the etrog) and recite a blessing (netilat lulav) to ask God for a fruitful and blessed year.

The Season of our Joy:
Z'man Simchateinu

Sukkot is the conclusion of the Jewish Fall Holiday season and is the last of the three Shelosh Regalim [the three annual pilgrimage festivals: Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot (Deut. 16:16)]. It can be argued that Sukkot is the climax of all the festivals in Scripture.... Everything leads to it as a culmination in God's prophetic plan. It is interesting to compare the use of words relating to simchah (joy) in the description of these three festivals. Regarding Pesach, the word simchah does not appear at all (Deut. 17:1-8); regarding Shavuot (Pentecost), it appears only once (Deut. 17:11); but, regarding Sukkot, the wordsimchah appears several times:

    You shall keep the Feast of Sukkot seven days, when you have gathered in the produce... You shall rejoice in your feast... because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful. (Deut. 16:13-15)

In fact, in ancient Israel, the joy of Sukkot was so great that it became known simply as "the Feast" (1 Kings 12:32). It was a time of many sacrifices (Numbers 29) and a time when (on Sabbatical years) the Torah would be read aloud to the people (Deut. 31:10-13).

From a spiritual perspective, Sukkot corresponds to the joy of knowing our sins were forgiven (during Yom Kippur) and also recalls God's miraculous provision and care after the deliverance from bondage in Egypt (Lev. 23:43). Prophetically, Sukkot anticipates the coming kingdom of Yeshua wherein all the nations shall come up to Jerusalem to worship the LORD during the festival (see Zech. 14:16). Today Sukkot is a time to remember God's Sheltering Presence and Provision for us for the start of the New Year.

Note: For more information about this holiday, see the Sukkot Pages.

Sukkot Torah Readings

The Torah Reading Cycle is suspended for the holiday week of Sukkot (referred to as "Tabernacles" in the Christian tradition), as well as for Shemini Atzeret (sometimes referred to as the "eighth day" of Sukkot). CH"M means Chol haMo'ed, an interim day.

Click on the verses to read the Scriptures in English:

Yom Tov



Brit Chadashah

Erev Sukkot
Sun Oct 16, 2016
Tishri 14, 5777

It is customary to prepare the "four species" in the sukkah in the afternoon. The holiday begins with candle lighting just before sundown, followed by the Shehecheyanu. Kiddush and Sukkah blessings are recited in the Sukkah.

Sukkot 1
Mon Oct 17, 2016
Tishri 15, 5777

Lev. 22:26-23:44;
Num. 29:12-29:16

Zech. 14:1-21;

John 1:10-14;
Rev. 7:1-10; 21:1-4

Sukkot 2
Tues Oct 18, 2016

Lev. 22:26-23:44;
Num. 29:12-29:16

1 Kings 8:2-21

John 1:10-14;
Rev. 7:1-10; 21:1-4

Sukkot 3 (CH"M 1)
Wed Oct 19, 2016

Num. 29:17-22



Sukkot 4 (CH"M 2)
Thur Oct 20, 2016

Num. 29:20-25


John 7-8

Sukkot 5 (CH"M 3)

Fri Oct 21, 2016

Exod. 33:12-34:26;
Num. 29:23-28

Ezek. 38:18-39:16
Ecclesiates (kohelet)

John 7-8

Sukkot 6 (CH"M 4)
Sat Oct 22, 2016

Num. 29:26-31


John 7-8

Sukkot 7
Hoshana Rabba
Sun Oct 23, 2016

Num. 29:26-34


John 7-8

Sukkot 8
Shemini Atzeret
Mon Oct 24, 2016

Deut. 14:22-16:17; Num. 29:35-30:1

1 Kings 8:54-8:66

Matt. 17:1-9;
Mark 12:28-33

Simchat Torah
Tues Oct 25, 2016
Tishri 23, 5777

Deut. 33:1-34:12; Genesis 1

Josh. 1:1-18

Rev. 22:1-5

Shabbat Bereshit
Sat Oct 29, 2016
Tishri 27, 5777

Genesis 1:1-6:8

Isa. 42:5-43:11

John 1:1-14; Col. 1:15-17; Phil. 2:9-11; Heb. 1:1-3; Rom. 11:36; Rev. 4:11; 22:13


Additional Notes:

  • The Sukkot, Hoshana Rabba, and Shemini Atzeret Torah readings are from Leviticus 22-23, Numbers 29, and Deuteronomy 14-16. These readings detail the laws of the mo'adim or "appointed times" on the Jewish calendar and include the commandments regarding the festival of Sukkot.
  • On Simchat Torah ("Celebration of the Torah") we conclude, and begin anew, the annual Torah-reading cycle. First we read the Torah section of Vezot Haberakhah, and then we read the first chapter of Genesis (i.e., the beginning of the following Shabbat's Torah reading).


When was Jesus born?
Chayei Olam
Faith and the Sign
Tachanun (Isru Chag)
Sheltering Presence

Read Summary


High Holidays
Hoshana Rabba
Shmini Atzeret
Simchat Torah

The Circle of Torah Readings...

Our Torah reading for this week is a bit complicated. In addition to the passages we read for the holiday of Sukkot, we will also read the Book of Ecclesiastes (i.e., Kohelet) for the Sabbath of Sukkot. We will also read both the last portion of the Torah (i.e., V'zot HaBerakhah: Deut. 33:1-34:12) as well as the first chapter of the Torah (i.e., Gen. 1:1-2:3) for the holiday of "Simchat Torah" (which immediately follows Sukkot). Finally, on the Sabbath that follows the celebration of Simchat Torah, we will read the entire portion of Bereshit (i.e., Gen. 1:1-6:8). The upshot is that during this season of the year we will read the end of the Torah scroll and then "rewind" it to the beginning...

Every year we read the Torah from beginning to end... We do this every year because Talmud Torah - the study of Torah - is an ongoing venture in the life of a Jew.  In this connection, it is interesting to note that the very first letter of the Torah is the Bet (בּ) in the word bereshit (בְּרֵאשִׁית), and the very last letter of the Torah is the Lamed (ל) in the word Israel (יִשְׂרָאֵל). Putting these letters together we get the word lev (לֵב), "heart," (note the similarity to the English word "love") suggesting that the entire Torah - from the first letter to the last - reveals the heart and love of God for us... Moreover, the first letter of Scripture is a Bet (בּ), as explained above, and the last letter is a Nun (ן) in the word "Amen" (אָמֵן), so the whole Bible - from beginning to end - reveals the Person of God the Son (בֶּן) for us...

Note:  For more on this subject, see "Every Letter of Torah."

Related Topics:

Blessing before Torah Study:

Click for the blessing

Some terms:

  • Parashah is the weekly Scripture portion taken from the Torah. Each parashah is given a name and is usually referred to as "parashat - name" (e.g., parashat Noach). For more information about weekly readings, click here.
  • Aliyot refer to a smaller sections of the weekly parashah that are assigned to people of the congregation for public reading during the Torah Reading service. In most congregations it is customary for the person "called up" to recite a blessing for the Torah before and after the assigned section is recited by the cantor. For Shabbat services, there are seven aliyot (and a concluding portion called a maftir). The person who is called to make aliyah is referred to as an oleh (olah, if female).
  • Maftir refers to the last Torah aliyah of the Torah chanting service (normally a brief repetition of the 7th aliyah, though on holidays the Maftir portion usually focuses on the Holiday as described in the Torah).  The person who recites the Maftir blessing also recites the blessing over the Haftarah portion.
  • Haftarah refers to an additional portion from the Nevi'im (Prophets) read after the weekly Torah portion. The person who made the maftir blessing also recites the blessing for the Haftarah, and may even read the Haftarah before the congregation.
  • Brit Chadashah refers to New Testament readings which are added to the traditional Torah Reading cycle. Often blessings over the Brit Chadashah are recited before and after the readings.
  • Mei Ketuvim refers to a portion read from the Ketuvim, or writings in the Tanakh. Readings from the Ketuvim are usually reserved for Jewish holidays at the synagogue.
  • Perek Yomi Tehillim refers to the daily portion of psalms (mizmorim) recited so that the entire book of Psalms (Tehillim) is read through in a month. For a schedule, of daily Psalm readings, click here.
  • Gelilah refers to the tying up and covering the Sefer Torah (Torah Scroll) as an honor in the synagogue.
  • Divrei Torah ("words of Torah") refers to a commentary, a sermon, or devotional on the Torah portion of the week.

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