HT Image
HT Image

The October Fests

This harvest month is always choc-a-bloc with everybody’s festivals. Right now, we’re in the middle of the Jewish celebration of Sukkoth (October 14-20).Renuka Narayanan examines...
By Renuka Narayanan | None
UPDATED ON OCT 17, 2008 11:49 PM IST

On the first day, you will take for yourselves a fruit of a beautiful tree, palm branches, twigs of a braided tree and brook willows, and you will rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.
-Leviticus 23:40

Sukkoth on a Bombay balcony? You could see that once on Pedder Road, made for Ms Sophie Kelly, principal of High Grange High School and her brother’s family, the Cohens. Sukkoth literally means ‘festival of booths’ in Hebrew from sukkah, a booth. The way Indians would naturally pronounce it – like ‘Sue Coat’ – is how it’s said in Hebrew, unlike the Yiddish ‘Sook-Ut’.

Sukkoth is a day of feasting and joy, a drastic change of mood from Yom Kippur, the Day of Repentance five days earlier (October 9). It is like how Hindus first observe the stark sobriety of the Pitr Paksh Shraad, a fortnight of ‘Hindu holdback’ from buying new homes, cars, clothes or feasting and pray for the souls of their ancestors. After which they hold back some more during the Navratras in a personal detox – no drink or meat – and then celebrate like mad with Dussehra, leading up to Deepavali (October 28, this year).

Sukkoth is the last of three big annual Jewish festivals (the others are Passover and Shavu’ot). Like many festivals, Sukkoth has both agricultural and historical/mythical significance. Agriculturally it’s a harvest fest. Scripturally, it commemorates the 40-year-period in which the Israelites wandered in the desert, living in temporary shelters (booths or huts made of palmfronds and other natural material). This festival is instituted in the Torah in the Book of Leviticus. For a Jewish child, decorating a sukkah is the equivalent of making a jhaanki (Krishna’s ‘Nativity Scene’, complete with a cradle and a Baby) or decorating a Christmas tree. Paintings and drawings by the children of the house decorate the sukkah along with artistic bunches of fruit and vegetables or sheaves of dried grain.

Another Sukkoth practice involves branches of the Four Plants (arba minim in Hebrew). They have these interesting names: etrog (citron), lulav (palm), aravot (willow) and hadassim (myrtle). These are bound together and collectively called the lulav, because the palm branch is the largest. But the etrog is held separately. Holding these branches and waving them in all six directions (north, south, east, west, up, down) to show that God is All-pervading (a quality of God that Hindus call ‘Vishnu’), the Sukkoth blessing is chanted. There are daily parikramas of the stand on which the Torah is kept, during which the Jews chant prayers with the refrain “Hosha na” (Hosanna), meaning “Please save us!”

There are seven parikramas on the seventh day of Sukkoth, called the Hoshana Rabba, meaning the Great Hoshana (like saying Mahashivratri or Mahaparinirvana).

Sukkoth is when the Jewish people reach out to the world and include them in their prayers and rejoicing, just as Hindus pray “Sarve janah sukhino bhavantuh” (Let there be well-being for all). The deep message of the seven days of Sukkoth is that we should live our lives well with good and sincere effort, for life is so short.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Army plans to deploy 10,000 troops as LAC reinforcements

PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:52 PM IST
NEW DELHI: With a planned and gradual drawdown of soldiers underway in the Northeast ,where the security situation has significantly improved, the Indian Army plans to redeploy up to 10,000 extra troops by the year-end to carry out the force’s primary task --- dealing with the Chinese threat in the eastern sector, people familiar with the development said on Tuesday on condition of anonymity
Close
Ranchi: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav being taken for his ultrasound at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), in Ranchi, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020. (PTI Photo)(PTI23-12-2020_000246B)(PTI)
Ranchi: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav being taken for his ultrasound at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), in Ranchi, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020. (PTI Photo)(PTI23-12-2020_000246B)(PTI)

Lalu Prasad under observation at RIMS after contracting pneumonia

PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:44 PM IST
  • RIMS Director Dr Kameshwar Prasad said it seems to be a case of acute pneumonia and he has been put under round-the-clock observation.
Close
Priyanka Chopra, Adarsh Gourav and Rajkummar Rao in a still from 'The White Tiger'. (SOURCED).
Priyanka Chopra, Adarsh Gourav and Rajkummar Rao in a still from 'The White Tiger'. (SOURCED).

Delhi HC refuses to stay Netflix premiere of ‘The White Tiger’

By Richa banka
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:43 PM IST
  • Hours before the release of the movie based on the Booker Prize winning novel of the same name written by Aravind Adiga, the court dismissed an urgent plea to injunct the makers and Netflix from premiering the movie.
Close
Bagchi doesn’t like the terms stray dogs or street dogs. Dogs living within localites are community dogs, he says.
Bagchi doesn’t like the terms stray dogs or street dogs. Dogs living within localites are community dogs, he says.

The community dogs of Dhanbad: pampered, protected, proud

By Shara Ashraf Prayag
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:45 PM IST
In the coal capital of India, a group of animal lovers is encouraging people to treat dogs with love and compassion
Close
The Allahabad High Court had granted bail Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan, his wife Tazeen Fatima and son Abdullah Azam Khan in a case of alleged forgery of Abdullah's birth certificate(HT FILE PHOTO)
The Allahabad High Court had granted bail Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan, his wife Tazeen Fatima and son Abdullah Azam Khan in a case of alleged forgery of Abdullah's birth certificate(HT FILE PHOTO)

SC upholds bail for Azam Khan, wife and son in forgery case

By Abraham Thomas
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:12 PM IST
  • The Supreme Court dismissed the Uttar Pradesh government's appeal as it noted that the order was limited to grant of bail.
Close
Fishermen sitting at a demonstration site during a protest against the killing of four fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy, in Rameswaram on Thursday (ANI Photo)
Fishermen sitting at a demonstration site during a protest against the killing of four fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy, in Rameswaram on Thursday (ANI Photo)

India lodges protest after fishermen die in crash with Sri Lankan naval craft

UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 10:50 PM IST
  • India expressed “deep anguish at the loss of lives” and emphasised the need to deal with issues related to fishermen in a humanitarian manner.
Close
The Bengal government also appealed to people through televised advertisements to blow conch shells at 12.15 pm, the time of Bose’s birth in 1897. Both the Centre and the state have decided to organise various programmes till Bose’s 125th birthday next year. (HT FILE PHOTO).
The Bengal government also appealed to people through televised advertisements to blow conch shells at 12.15 pm, the time of Bose’s birth in 1897. Both the Centre and the state have decided to organise various programmes till Bose’s 125th birthday next year. (HT FILE PHOTO).

On eve of PM Modi’s visit, TMC, BJP face-off in Bengal over Netaji’s birthday

PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 10:45 PM IST
  • Despite the TMC and the Left parties’ demand that January 23 be declared a national holiday and designated after the names they had chosen, the Modi government declared on January 19 that the day will be celebrated as Parakram Diwas.
Close
WhatsApp has assured that they do not expand its ability to share user data with its parent company Facebook and is working to address the "misinformation" that was being spread about its privacy norms.(MINT_PRINT)
WhatsApp has assured that they do not expand its ability to share user data with its parent company Facebook and is working to address the "misinformation" that was being spread about its privacy norms.(MINT_PRINT)

WhatsApp thanks Parliamentary committee after meeting on data privacy

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Nilavro Ghosh
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 10:30 PM IST
The committee met the officials of Twitter and Facebook to hear their views on safeguarding citizens’ rights and prevention of misuse of social and online news media platforms.
Close
WhatsApp had earlier this month begun asking its 2 billion users worldwide to accept an update of its privacy policy if they want to keep using the popular messaging app.(HT Photo)
WhatsApp had earlier this month begun asking its 2 billion users worldwide to accept an update of its privacy policy if they want to keep using the popular messaging app.(HT Photo)

Parliamentary panel members concerned over WhatsApp's proposed privacy policy

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 10:24 PM IST
WhatsApp representatives who appeared before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology said the proposed changes are aimed at bringing in more transparency and the chat and calls on platform still remain end-to-end encrypted, some of the members said.
Close
A Twitter logo is seen outside the company headquarters in San Francisco, California, US. (Reuters Photo)(REUTERS)
A Twitter logo is seen outside the company headquarters in San Francisco, California, US. (Reuters Photo)(REUTERS)

Twitter to restart giving blue ticks from January 22: All you need to know

Written by Poulomi Ghosh
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 10:20 PM IST
In 2017, the micro-blogging platform stopped its verification programme saying it felt arbitrary and confusing to many people.
Close
VK Sasikala was tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday(PTI FILE PHOTO)
VK Sasikala was tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday(PTI FILE PHOTO)

Expelled AIADMK leader Sasikala tests positive for Covid-19, shifted to ICU

Written by Prashasti Singh
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 10:31 PM IST
"She tested positive for Covid-19 but there are no other complications and her oxygen saturation is around 98 per cent," said Dr K Ramesh Krishna, medical superintendent at Victoria Hospital.
Close
Many session sites saw an upswing in the number of vaccinations which boosted the overall percentage.(ANI)
Many session sites saw an upswing in the number of vaccinations which boosted the overall percentage.(ANI)

Vaccination percentage rises in Bihar after govt allows on-the-spot shots

PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 10:08 PM IST
  • The government has allowed on-the-spot administration of the vaccine from among the beneficiaries already enrolled on the Covid-19 Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) portal, if those listed at a vaccination centre for the day did not turn up.
Close
Army chief General Naravane has said the Covid-19 pandemic had exposed the fragility of global supply chains and self-reliance was the only way to insulate the military from such disruptions. (PTI PHOTO).
Army chief General Naravane has said the Covid-19 pandemic had exposed the fragility of global supply chains and self-reliance was the only way to insulate the military from such disruptions. (PTI PHOTO).

Lagging a little in military modernisation compared to adversaries: Army Chief

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 09:58 PM IST
  • General Naravane said dependence on imported military hardware could create vulnerabilities during a crisis, and self-reliance in the defence sector was a “strategic necessity”.
Close
Health workers wait at PMCH ahead of the Covid -19 vaccination drive, in Patna on January 16.(ANI)
Health workers wait at PMCH ahead of the Covid -19 vaccination drive, in Patna on January 16.(ANI)

Names of 800 healthcare workers go missing from Co-WIN portal in Bihar

UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 09:38 PM IST
  • The NMCH administration claimed it had sent the list of nearly 800 health care workers and 1,400 hospital staff to Patna civil surgeon last December, but names of those from the in medical college were missing from the Co-Win portal
Close
On Thursday, the Jagannath Temple administration waived off the requirement of a Covid-19 negative report for devotees, but made wearing of masks mandatory for those entering the shrine. (HT FILE PHOTO).(HT File Photo)
On Thursday, the Jagannath Temple administration waived off the requirement of a Covid-19 negative report for devotees, but made wearing of masks mandatory for those entering the shrine. (HT FILE PHOTO).(HT File Photo)

Puri’s Jagannath Temple administrators seek early vaccination for priests, staff

PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 09:24 PM IST
  • Odisha on Thursday exceeded its target of Covid-19 vaccination by inoculating 44,880 frontline health workers against an aim of 37,076 as vaccinators in 20 of the 30 districts managed to surpass the target.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP