September 27th, 2015
Ottawa, Ontario - Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued this statement to mark the start of Sukkot:
“Jewish communities across Canada and around the world will soon come together to celebrate the start of Sukkot, the week-long festival during which Jews commemorate the forty years that the ancient Israelites wandered in the Sinai desert following their exodus from slavery in Egypt.
“Jewish families and friends gather for special prayers and celebratory meals in sukkahs, which symbolize the temporary desert shelters the Israelites dwelled in during the years in the Sinai. Typical celebrations include the building and decorating of sukkahs and daily blessings over the lulav (palm, myrtle and willow branches bound together) and etrog (yellow citron), which are representative of the four species Jews would bring to the Temple in Jerusalem and shake in all directions to symbolize God’s mastery over all creation.
“Sukkot is an opportunity for all Canadians to celebrate the freedom we enjoy here in Canada.
“I offer my best wishes to everyone in Canada and around the world celebrating Sukkot.
“Chag Sukkot Sameach!”
Statement by Stephen Harper to mark the start of Sukkot