Prayers and Sukkot: A Quick Survey

There are some wonderful traditions of prayer surrounding Sukkot. The most interesting is the waving of the lulav. To get the full effect, gather a few hundred thousand people in Jerusalem surrounding the Temple. Have them all waving palm branches and citrons while reciting Psalms. Oy. Those who do not long for the Temple’s rebuilding have too little imagination.

Candle Lighting
The first night of Sukkot (Erev Sukkot) is a Yom Tov. Candles are lit in the Sukkah with two prayers: (1) the l’hadlikh ner shel yom tov and (2) the shehekhiyanu. A Yom Tov is a holiday Sabbath which is different from a regular Sabbath in that food preparation for that day is allowed.

Ushpizin Upon Entering the Sukkah
Some follow the custom (optional) of welcoming guests from sacred history (such as Abraham) with a blessing. Artscroll Complete Siddur, pages 720-723. Koren Siddur, pages 766-767.

Kiddush in the Sukkah for Erev Sukkot
There is a special addition to the Kiddush for Erev Sukkot. Artscroll Complete Siddur, pages 722-725. Koren Siddur, pages 768-769.

Kiddush on Intermediate Days (Hol HaMo’ed)
Artscroll Complete Siddur, pages 360-361. Koren Siddur, pages 580-581.

After the Morning Service: Blessing the Lulav and Etrog
This is usually done before the Hallel. The etrog stem should face up during the blessing and be turned down after. Artscroll Complete Siddur, pages 630-631. Koren Siddur, 730-731.

Waving the Lulav and Etrog
Before reciting Hallel, it is time to wave the four species. Hold the lulav wand in the right hand with the palm spine facing you and the etrog in the left hand. The cut stalk side of the etrog should be facing down and the protruding end facing up. Wave the lulav and etrog east, south, west, north, up, and down. Each wave is a forward and backward motion which causes the leaves to shake.

Every morning of Sukkot, after the morning prayers, Hallel is recited. Artscroll Complete Siddur, pages 632-643. Koren Siddur, pages 732-743.

Every morning of Sukkot the Hoshanot are recited. The laws of Hoshanot are found in the Artscroll Complete Siddur, pages 726-757. Koren Siddur, pages 852-873. On the seventh day five willow branches are beaten out on the ground during the Hoshanot.

Farewell to the Sukkah
On the last day, when leaving the Sukkah: Artscroll Complete Siddur, pages 724-725.


About Derek Leman

IT guy working in the associations industry. Formerly a congregational rabbi. Dad of 8. Nerd.
This entry was posted in Holidays, Judaism, messianic, Messianic Jewish, Messianic Judaism. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Prayers and Sukkot: A Quick Survey

  1. Anonymous says:

    Derek wrote “Oy”, and he referenced two Jewish publishing houses’ prayerbook offerings.

    I hope that the Jews here realize that such does not qualify him as a rabbi. The danger for a Jew in learning about Judaism from a gentile missionary like Derek is not that he’ll grab you and force you into a form of worship that is forbidden by the Jewish Bible. I haven’t met him in person, but I would assume he’s an affable fellow, and well meaning too. But the real risk comes in the mixture of authentic Judaism that he packages as part of his Christianity. He not only propounds worship of a god/man as some sort of a fulfillment of Jewishness (the Jewish Bible calls that practice an “abomination”), but he also puts a Christological spin on authentic Jewish practices, such as substituting Christian beliefs about Jesus as the underlying reason for Jewish rituals that in fact have nothing to do with Jesus. Real Judaism, the tradition from Sinai, does not involve Jesus, and real gentile converts to Judaism have left their fixation with Jesus behind.

    If you have questions about the Jewish holidays or your Jewish heritage, I strongly urge you to ask your local Orthodox rabbi about them, because you deserve a straight answer.

    Have a happy holiday!

  2. Anonymous:

    How would you know if the tradition from Sinai involves Jesus? Should we take your word for it? Your assertions are based on your own authority without evidence.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is a great question, Derek!

      If it really comes down to my word against yours, which one should Jews believe?

      The reality is, of course, that you’ve hit the nail right on the head. It actually is a question of my word against yours. I say that the tradition from Sinai doesn’t involve Jesus, and you say it does.

      What makes each of our arguments credible.

      In my case, I have it from my parents that the tradition they received from their parents, all the way back to Sinai, did not involve Jesus.

      In your case, you have no tradition from Sinai. Your gentile parents told you that they heard it from their Sunday school teachers, who heard it from their priests, who heard it from their theologians and philosophers and church doctors and councils that at some point voted and decided that the Jews were lying about their tradition from Sinai.

      So, in my case, my word is based on a carefully transmitted recitation of what my ancestors witnessed at Sinai. And in your case, your word is based on an arbitrary decision of gentiles who really had no clue about what went on at Sinai or what was transmitted from G-d to the Jews there.

      So while readers may question and consider the basis for believing my word, they have absolutely no basis for believing your word.

      • benicho says:

        Certainly even you would agree that it’s not merely his word against your word. You should never be so arrogant to toss around The Word as if it’s your own. What you’re referring to is The Living Word, which was at the beginning of time and is the Word of G-d. Derek is referring to the same Tanakh that you are. Is there not a Messiah prophesied in the Tanakh? We believe it is Yeshua.

        Readers don’t question the basis for believing “your word” because it simply is not your word. We believe in the same Torah as you! And since you’re clearly a proponent of accuracy it should be mentioned that Jewish oral tradition must never be confused with the Tanakh. Please, don’t interchange Mishnah and scripture.

        You should be happy that the Goyim are wanting to learn the laws since it is prophesied in Isaiah. We are looking to the laws of Israel rather than the replacement theology that has plagued the church for nearly 1700 years! Now if you want to debate the Moshiac this is one thing, but don’t try to try to deceive people by saying Derek is citing some other fraudulent scripture created by Gentiles. After all, we believe in the Messiah that fulfilled the Torah (since man could not) so that we may live eternally with the Father in his kingdom someday—the same Messiah you are waiting for.

      • Anonymous says:


        Two things:

        First, I think you should re-read the question Derek posed to me. Your refutation of my answer to his question undercut the premise of his question.

        And second, I have no quarrel with you as a gentile believing whatever you want to about the content of the information package G-d transmitted to me through my ancestors at Sinai. If you want to believe it incorporated the Oral Law, fine. If not, fine. If you want to believe it was all about Jesus, that’s fine with me too. Only don’t go passing off your ideology to Jews as if it were a tradition you’d received from Sinai. You received no such tradition. Be honest about that, and we’ll have nothing to disagree over. Again, I do not seek to tell gentiles what to believe. But I will not tolerate gentiles telling Jews what to believe–especially when they’re pretending to be Jewish to magnify the effect of their non-Jewish religious impositions on Jews.

      • benicho says:

        I’m glad you brought it up.

        Derek asked: How would you know if the tradition from Sinai involves Jesus? Should we take your word for it? Your assertions are based on your own authority without evidence.

        Your answer: “I say that the tradition from Sinai doesn’t involve Jesus, and you say it does…In my case, I have it from my parents that the tradition they received from their parents, all the way back to Sinai, did not involve Jesus.”

        In no place did you attempt to use scripture to back the claim that Yeshua had nothing to do with Sinai. Your parents gave you the tradition. This is acceptable and understandable, but the door was left wide open for you to prove your point, not give a family pedigree. This is precisely why Derek said that your claim was without evidence and based on your own word.

        With that said it is evident that this truly is about being Gentile. You came in here to deliver the oppressed Jews who were being forced to read Messianic writings. Where’s the love for your neighbor Gentile? Am I not worthy of knowing your truth simply because I’m not Jewish?

        “Again, I do not seek to tell gentiles what to believe. But I will not tolerate gentiles telling Jews what to believe”

        However it is touching that I have your acceptance to believe in whatever I want to believe. The tradition you’re referring which my ancient ancestors did not receive is what has brought me to this place—to learn. The Torah is a great gift of G-d and it really doesn’t reflect well on you to boast about having received it when others were not so privileged. Do you really believe that simply being born Jewish makes you naturally correct? Can you explain to me why Messianic Gentiles would come here to learn the laws of Torah (as well as traditional Judaism) had we believed that the Jews were lying about Sinai? Makes no sense. I want to learn as much as possible about the laws of G-d while I’m here on earth. I don’t do this because it makes me feel more justified in my faith, or because I want to be Jewish, but because I have an unquenchable love for G-d.

        I still maintain that you’re my brother through the Messiah and that shall never change.

      • Anonymous says:


        You’ve said a mouthful! Look, I’m satisfied to let my case rest on the two comments you’ve written responses to.

        If you want to believe that what Derek the gentile is “teaching” you is my family’s heritage from Sinai, that’s your problem/choice/lifestyle and I wish you only the best with it. But if you want to know about the content of the revelation from Sinai, you’d better ask someone with a connection to it rather than a missionizing interloper from another faith community.

        And if you want to know why my Scripture rules out even the possibility that Jesus could have been the fulfillment of messianic prophecy in the Jewish Bible, you’re welcome to explore that with me at my blog, at which that very subject is the main topic.

  3. Benicho:

    Thanks. Chag Sameach.

  4. Thanks, Derek–these pointers were very useful.

  5. Anonymous:

    You said to Benicho: “I will not tolerate gentiles telling Jews what to believe.”

    A little high and mighty, don’t you think?

    Especially since you are using my blog as a forum (while I was away on vacation, that is). So, you who have no readers and no one interested in your opinion use other people’s blogs to tell people what you will and will not tolerate?

    What will you do if a Gentile tells you what to believe? Will you get violent? Take them to court? Oh, I get it, the “not tolerate” comment was simply a bunch of hot air.


    • Anonymous says:


      As soon as I submitted that comment, I realized the poor word choice, and you’ve seized on it. “I will not tolerate” insinuates a degree of control, which I neither have nor seek nor desire. What I meant to say, and should have written, was “I will respond with protest to”. You asked if the “I will not tolerate” implied a threat of violence or litigation; there is no threat at all. Instead of “I will not tolerate”, I meant and should have written “It is morally unacceptable whenever”.

      And you make another valid point. This is your blog, and it should be about you, not me. What is your beef with the Jews that prompts you to parade around dressed up in their lingo and symbolism while you influence them to abandon their religion and instead accept your gentile faith? It can’t be love, because if you loved the Jews you wouldn’t be trying to deceive them about your status as a non-Jew. So why is it that you’ve grown a beard, adopted the honorific “rabbi”, begun introducing yourself as a Jew to people, and all the while you’re a Christian missionary evangelizing Jews. Why do you think that such a bizarre charade is moral? What standard of morality are you using that could condone such strange and disrespectful behavior?

  6. Anonymous:

    I’d gladly converse with you if I knew your name, if you showed a modicum of give and take, and if you acted like a human being.

    Instead, all you’ll get from me is mockery while you proceed with your hopeless and boring diatribe. I’m sure I will soon grow weary and start banning you. Use your limited time wisely.

  7. Mike says:

    Anonymous, I dont think Derek is trying to deceive Jews. In fact, I believe I read a post he wrote about his conversion, which I am sure you wont recognize anyways. So its not as if he is passing himself off as not being born a gentile. Seems childish how you like to bring that up, over and over and over.

    Also, you act as if he is tricking Jewish people to believing in Jesus, as if Jewish people are somehow easily swayed into switching religions, seems like a bit of a stretch to me.

    Im not Jewish, nor have I attended a Messianic Synagogue, or a Jewish Synagogue for that matter, just interested in good writing. I find your disdain for Derek a bit odd.

    And as far as not putting a name on your comments, I thought I read somewhere in your earlier comments, something to the effect of a fear of retribution. Which is plain silly. If you knew anything about Jesus, you would know you have nothing to worry about. You’ve had your say, now I would like to continue to read Dereks posts without your paranoid ramblings.

    Thank you. Mike

  8. Pingback: Banned from the Messianic Web « Messiah: Anonymous

  9. sandor11 says:

    Gentlemen Shalom, may I just say, perhaps the Book of Ruth, would be an excellent help here?
    If Ruth was excepted, and she followed everything. Even though she came from a really unexceptable tribe? Shouldn’t we do the same? Shouldn’t we do as Moses did? Also Mighty God of the Universe has said, to remember our Exodus, remember we were once strangers, and not to prevent others from coming to Him? And also, may I say, there is some excellent Mishnah going on here. =-) Anybody can learn a lot.
    My thanks to” Benicho”, who covered for you/Derek, very nice strong responses.

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