Today is the beginning of Holy Week for all Christians. (At least that I know of) It is the day that Jesus rode in on a donkey into Jerusalem and saw the world change forever. Palms were laid down on the ground and held up in the air to celebrate Jesus’ entry. This was very upsetting to the Sanhedrin and Rome.
The palms were used as a part of the celebration of Sukkot. During Sukkot, temporary housing was built, normally out of palms, where people were to live for the day doing no other work. It should be noted that not only palms were placed down in Jesus’ path but garments and other types of branches as well.
The people shouted “Hosanna” which basically means “save us” in Hebrew. They were welcoming their King and Lord into their lives. Regrettably, not long after many of these same people were shouting “Crucify Him”.
Those receiving Palms on Palm Sunday should remember that after taking the Palms home they should be buried or burned, not just randomly discarded. As with most religious symbols, they are meant to remind us of what came before us. No matter your religion, the value of any religious symbol should be honored by all.
How to celebrate – If you are Christian, attend church today. Remember to bury or burn the palms you have gathered. Remember those who came before us.
Today begins the Festival of Sukkot, a temporary shelter built by the Jews in their 40 years in the dessert. It was a place to eat and sleep, providing little else, but it is celebrated for having something above the idea of nothing. (There wasn’t a lot to choose from in the dessert.)
It is also known as the Feast of the Tabernacles as each temporary home became a Holy place. It is celebrated different days of the year but this year falls on the 4th of October. The first two days of the celebration there is not supposed to be any work down. (But didn’t it take work to put the shelter up?) Well, what’s work for ne is a joy for another.
The holiday is associated with the American Thanksgiving. I am not sure, other than the food part, what is similar but it’s okay… just another reason to celebrate! I personally cannot imagine wandering through the dessert for forty years but I assume it was the freedom they enjoyed.
Really, if you think about it, we should really celebrate every day we are given because it is truly a gift. We far too often find the things that are wrong instead of the things that are right. Life is not easy but it we who make it harder than it has to be.
With so many different religions in the world we probably can find a reason to celebrate every day. (Unless, of course, your celebration includes blowing up other people) I may not know what it is you are celebrating or understand why you are celebrating it but I will celebrate it with you! The more joy we can bring to life the more life means to us all.
How to celebrate – Build a Sukkot in your backyard. Invite a few friends (or a lot) over to celebrate with you. And remember, my Sukkot is your Sukkot.