Jews, Christians Observe Sukkot Holiday

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Earlier in September, Jews celebrated Rosh Hashanah -- the Jewish New Year -- followed 10 days later by Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Now, beginning Sunday at sundown, Jews and many Christians are celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot.

During the Feast of Tabernacles, Jews in Israel build what they call sukkas -- or tabernacles.

The sukka (or booth) is central to celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles. It represents the booths or tabernacles in which the Israelites dwelled after escaping the bondage of Egypt.

The Bible says in Leviticus "live in booths for seven days, so your descendants will know that I had Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt." (Leviticus 23:42-43)

Jesus Attended the Feast of the Tabernacles

The New Testament says Jesus also celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles.

The Gospel of John says "On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood up and said in a loud voice, 'If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.'" (John 7: 37-38)

Today, thousands of Christian pilgrims come to Israel from all over the world to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.

But in light of all the economic uncertainty in the world today, some believe the feast also provides a timely reminder of God's promise of protection.

"I believe this is the time for us to realize ultimately putting our hope in God is the answer," Wayne Hilsden, pastor of the King of Kings congregation told CBN News.

"In God we trust. We don't trust in the dollar bill or the euro. We trust in God," Hilsden explained. "And the Feast of Tabernacles reminds us of the fact that we're on a pilgrimmage. Not only are we in perilous times, but we're on a pilgrimmage and life is not about just what we experience here on this Earth. We're destined for a city without foundations, whose maker and builder is God," he said.  

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