In this week’s installment of “You Know How I Know?” — the video series in which award-winning actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik breaks down Jewish holidays for us — we talk about Sukkos, or, as you may know it: Sukkot! (The latter is the Hebrew version; the former is Yiddish. Now you know!)
Aspiring super-Jew Mayim makes the excellent point that Sukkot — which begins this year on the evening of Friday, September 29 — is probably the strangest Jewish holiday of them all. I mean, Sukkot is a holiday in which we basically build a little hut in our yard and eat all our meals in it. We also wave leaves and grasses and “a weird dope little lemon,” as Mayim describes the etrog, in all directions at synagogue. And yeah, we also pray for rain — yup, we pray for mayim (that’s the Hebrew word for water!) to come down from the sky. A trippy holiday, indeed!
But more than that, by forcing us spend so much time outside, Sukkot is a poignant reminder of how tied we still are to nature and to the elements. “Sukkot reminds us, that when it comes down to it, we are at the mercy of a force that is much bigger than us,” Mayim says.
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Header design by Grace Yagel