In preparation for the holiday of Sukkot, also known as the Festival of Tabernacles, Jews build a temporary shelter called a sukkah.
Leviticus 23:42-43 commands, “Live in temporary shelters for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in such shelters so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out of Egypt.” Jews fulfill this biblical instruction today by eating meals in their sukkot (plural of sukkah) throughout the seven days of Sukkot, and when the weather permits, they sleep in the structure as well.
A proper sukkah has at least three walls covered, and a roof made of naturally grown material – often tree branches, bamboo reeds, corn stalks, or sticks. The roof is kept loose enough that the inhabitants can see the stars. Many people decorate their sukkah with streamers and shiny ornaments.
Living in a sukkah is to remind Jews of God’s provision to the Israelites after He freed them from Egypt and they wandered in the desert, living in temporary shelters. The temporary discomfort of dwelling in this structure now reminds Jews that, despite all our modern conveniences, we are all utterly dependent on God.