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Torah Commentary Blog

Chol HaMa-eid Sukkot (September 21, 2013)
by Robyn Weinstein Cimbol

MORE THAN ANY OTHER Jewish ritual, the pilgrimage festival of Sukkot most resembles pagan practice. It is our most sensory holiday. The Four Species (the etrog, lulav, willow and myrtle) echo cultish props for worship. And yet, the Torah reading for the Shabbat during Sukkot contains concepts at the core of Jewish theology. Central is the recitation of the Thirteen Attributes of God. This image of God as the expression of ethical behavior is a far cry from paganism.

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