NO HOLIDAY FROM JUSTICE: Sukkot
Why Social Action on Sukkot?
Sukkot celebrates the importance of providing for those who are the most vulnerable. After escaping Egypt, our ancestors wandered through the desert for forty years facing challenging circumstances, but were able to survive with God’s protection. Each year we build a sukkah to remind us of the kindness and protection God showed the Jews when they were most vulnerable.
As part of the Sukkot celebrations, we invite friends and family into our sukkah to enjoy a delicious meal. Traditionally, we are told to extend an invitation to the needy members of our community. Whether symbolically or more literally, Sukkot is the perfect time to share your hospitality and good fortune to help protect those who are truly in need.
- Locate a soup kitchen or food pantry in your area that will accept fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Plan in advance to plant vegetables and fruit before Sukkot. Invite friends and family over for a gleaning party where together you can harvest your fresh produce and bring it to a local soup kitchen or food pantry.
- When you invite guests into your sukkah, ask them to bring fruits and vegetables that you can arrange in a basket together to bring to a soup kitchen or food pantry.
- Encourage your synagogue to share their harvest and make a commitment to continue supporting those who are food insecure throughout the coming year.
This Sukkot, MAZON invites you to engage in the tradition of welcoming ushpizin by symbolically inviting just a few of the millions of Americans struggling with hunger to join you in your sukkah.
The holiday of Sukkot encourages us to welcome guests and celebrate the harvest. The kabbalists developed a ritual wherein each night of Sukkot a different exalted guest is invited to join us in the sukkah. These ushpizin (Aramaic for “guests”) were traditionally biblical ancestors such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In more recent years, various ushpizin have been invited into the sukkah as honored guests. These ushpizin remind us of our obligation to the poor and hungry in our community, as it is said that the ushpizin would refuse to enter a sukkah where the poor were not welcome.
Print and display these posters in your congregational or personal sukkah. Each poster highlights a different person, each with a unique story, and features a question to spark meaningful conversation. Sharing these stories is the first step. After your sukkah conversation, we hope you will partner with MAZON to support the nutrition safety net which helps millions feed themselves and their families.
Together, we can ensure that everyone has access to the bounty of our nation’s harvest.