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High Holidays in Champaign-Urbana 2013 (5773-5774)

High Holiday Services & Observances In Champaign-Urbana 2014 (5774-5775)



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Sukkah gallery of C-U

Check out these pictures of community sukkahs. Send us your sukkah pictures. We would love to include them in our photo gallery.

  Innovative sukkahs

Need some inspiration for your sukkah this year? Sukkah's have traditionally been made with sticks and leaves and twine. But since Buckminster Fuller created his geodesic domes, the smartest kids in architecture school have been working on their own ideas for lightweight, transportable buildings. New technologies have multiplied the possibilities. See designs

Read story behind the designs A Harvest Of Temporary Shelters


Sunset of September 18 through nightfall of September 25, 2013

About Sukkot

The seven-day festival of Sukkot is the longest and happiest of the Jewish holidays. Sukkot occurs in autumn on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei (late September to late October).

Here’s the story. After their big Exodus from Egypt, Moses and the Jewish people lived in the desert for 40 years. Times were tough, but guess what? God made sure they had enough food and water to survive.
When they finally reached the land of Israel, God told the Jews to celebrate with a special feast. They called the feast Sukkot. The time of Sukkot also came at the same time as their harvest. So now they had twice the reason to celebrate! Full article

Etrog man

Growing etrogs is a difficult business. Too much sun and the yellow skin of the citrus fruit will burn; too little sun and the flowers won’t blossom. There’s infestation to worry about—red citrus mites are particularly fond of them. And then there are the religious prohibitions; blemishes render the fruit, a citron in English, useless for Sukkot, so if a branch or leaf pierces the skin of the etrog, you’re in trouble.

But John Kirkpatrick, a third-generation citrus farmer in California’s San Joaquin Valley, has overcome these obstacles and more. He’s the only large-scale grower of etrogs in the United States. Full Article


Shemini Atzeret-Simchat Torah

Shemini Atzeret is the holiday that follows immediately after the seventh day of Sukkot. Literally, Shemini Atzeret means “the eighth [day] of assembly.” The Torah designates this day as one of solemn assembly and prohibits labor.

Shemini Atzeret serves to conclude the holiday of Sukkot, although it technically stands as its own festival. In this way Sukkot begins with a yom tov (full holiday) and ends with a yom tov, while the days in between are the intermediate festival days (hol ha-mo’ed). Thus, the concluding holiday acts as a transitional day leading the worshipper out of the various levels of meaning inherent in Sukkot. The community assembles again to end the festival. Full Article

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