Sukkot – a holiday of creation, nature and revelation
Rabbi Dr. Yakov Nagen
The central motif in the festival of Sukkot and its commandments is the revelation of the Divine, and there is a connection in principle between Sukkot and the Temple. Another central motif at Sukkot is nature. The customs of the holiday use a variety of plants that represent the return to the ideal state, similar to the state of the world at the time of its creation. The combination of the motifs of nature and creation and revelation is an organic one, reflecting a future vision of a return to the ideal state that was the starting point of the world in paradise. The place where this is expressed in our world is the Temple. The festival of Sukkot, characterized by these motifs, is a unit of time in the year in which this vision is expressed, hence the wealth of parallels between the events of the festival and its commandments, and paradise, the Temple and the end of days.
Yakov Nagen is a teacher at Otniel Yeshiva, and has a PhD in Jewish Philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the author of books on philosophy, and is active in inter-faith dialogue between Judaism and Islam.