My second article with Vice Magazine. Thanks to Gedalya Gottdenger and Marisha Camp for the photos and guidance.
Photo by Marisha Camp
Capping off Judaism’s High Holy Days at the beginning of fall, the harvest festival Sukkot is meant to remind Jews of their nomadic and agrarian past. Throughout the world Jews build wooden shacks with their neighbors. They eat all their meals inside for that week, and attempt to live the idealized social practices less possible year-round. Within this holiday is Chol HaMoed, a six-day reprieve from the rigors of typical holiday restrictions.
And within those days is Simchat Beit Hashoeiva, a resurrection of ancient Jerusalem’s water-bringing ceremony. When King Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem still stood, Jews from around the region would bring their harvest to Jerusalem for a torch-lit and wine-soaked communal feast that Greek King Antiochus IV considered a parallel to Bacchanalian orgies.