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 Holiday Central > Sukkot > Reading Kohelet

Sukkot Reading: Kohelet
By: Rivka C. Berman, Contributor
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CHILDREN'S BOOK for AGES 5-11

The MItzvah Gang: A Sukkot Story

Given all the hoopla on Sukkot about joy it is interesting that this holiday features a reading of Kohelet – Ecclesiastes. The book begins: “The words of Kohelet, David’s son, King in Jerusalem: ‘Utter futility!’ says Kohelet. ‘Utter futulity! Everything is futility!’”

Not the up note one would expect, but there is a lesson here. The skeptical tone of the book reminds the corybantic Sukkot celebrants not to lose themselves in the rich foods and good fun that fill the holiday. Verse after verse of Kohelet focuses on life’s fleeting gifts, a pattern of time and seasons that arrive and pass just as quickly, and acts as a reminder to seize the moment with righteousness for all is as temporary as the Sukkah.

Rashi, the preeminent medieval Torah commentator, notes that Kohelet is read on Sukkot because it was at this time that King Solomon gathered (in Hebrew “kihale” which has the same root word as Kohelet) the People of Israel and read the Torah at the septennial Hakhel celebration.

Mazor Guide for Sukkot brings you much more about the holiday, its meaning and its traditions... See the links below.


 

 
     
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