Happy Sukkot! (Spec. Days & Occasions)
The Blessings of Sukkot

Sukkot JerusalemTwice a year the Holy City of Jerusalem witnesses a tremendous influx of the faithful worshipers of the Living God of Israel. They congregate at what is known as the Western Temple Wall to receive a priestly benediction from the descendants of Aaron and Zadok.

It is an awesome sight to see thousands of kohanim (priests) raise their hands over the gathered throngs of Jews and Gentiles, blessing them by the Name of the Almighty: "So they will put My name on the Israelites, and I will bless them." (Num. 6:27)

The Birkat Kohanim (priestly Blessing) is also called Nesiat Kapayim (Raising of the Hands) because the hands of the Kohanim are spread out over the congregation during the blessing.

The blessing is found in Numbers 6: “The LORD [YHVH] bless you and keep you; the LORD [YHVH] make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD [YHVH] turn His face toward you and give you peace.” (Num.6:24-26)

The Birkat Kohanim, which was re-established 40 years ago, takes place twice a year at the Western Wall during the intermediate days of Sukkos (Tabernacles) and Pesach (Passover).

The fascinating fact about the Feast of Sukkos, which we are celebrating right now, is that its significance extends far beyond the people of Israel. In fact, rabbinic tradition holds that the 70 sacrifices (Num. 29) offered throughout Sukkos atoned for the 70 nations of the world (see Genesis 10). As we can clearly see, Israel continues to be God’s royal priesthood and the Holy Nation of the Almighty even today!

What is even more enchanting is that according to the Hebrew prophet Zechariah, the Gentile nations of the world will stream up to Jerusalem to celebrate Sukkos (Feast of Tabernacles) in the Messianic Kingdom, after the enemies of Israel have been annihilated by the Holy One of Jacob: “Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.” (Zechariah 14:16)

Priestly BlessingHow ironic and, indeed, preposterous it is to observe how the world celebrates anything and everything but the Feasts of the LORD prescribed in His Word! How absurd then is the notion that the religious cult that joyfully engages in the ancient pagan fertility rites of Ishtar (Easter) and dances around “sacred” fir trees in memory of the rising sun-god during winter solstice presumes to call itself the “priesthood of the Lord.”

Happy Sukkos, Beloved!