A few years ago, two Jewish couples in Israel were discussing the mad rush for trinkets (flags, keychains and more) that are given out by thousands of Christian marchers to parade watchers along the route of the Jerusalem March during Sukkot. Northern Shomron (Samaria) resident Naomi Weiss said to her friends Gabi and Shmuel Tair, “They came all this way to support Israel. We should be giving them stuff!”
Feast of Tabernacles
When coming out of Egypt, as well as during harvests, Jews lived in sukkot (booths or tabernacles). By leaving their sturdy homes, eating and sleeping in the sukkah, the Jewish people demonstrated trust that God would continue to take care of them throughout their trials and tribulations. It is through this dependence on God that the people realized that God protects them – a realization that brings comfort and joy.
This year, Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) begins at nightfall on Sunday, September 23rd and runs until nightfall on Monday, October 1st. One of the three pilgrim festivals – along with Pesach (Passover) and Shavuot (Pentecost) – the feast of Tabernacles is an especially auspicious time to be in Israel in general and Jerusalem in particular. In 2016, the Tourism Ministry estimated that there were approximately 47,000 Christian tourists in Israel over Sukkot.