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The Jewish calendar is grounded on three sacred feasts—Passover in the spring, Pentecost in summer and Tabernacles in autumn. Before the Temple was destroyed in the year 70 A.D., Jewish people used to make pilgrimages to Jerusalem for these festivals.
The festival of Tabernacles lasts nine days. Many believe that the pilgrims modeled their celebration of Thanksgiving after this festival. (The reading is part of Portion 31.) The tabernacles recall the tents of dwellers at harvest time as well as the Exodus in the desert.
We Christians can relate these feasts to the Triune God. The death and resurrection of Jesus is the Passover, as the descent of the Holy Spirit is Pentecost. Is there a counterpart for God the Father in Tabernacles? Curiously, we might have found it in the Transfiguration incident when Peter asked Jesus if he would allow three tabernacles to be built for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. This never takes place. Instead, Jesus resumes his normal appearance and they walk down the mountain, learning about the coming suffering and death of Jesus.
The complete fulfillment of Tabernacles is yet to occur. We are all walking the path of God that leads us more and more into the Promised Land of God’s dominion over our hearts.
Hallowed be Your holy name 22:32
You brought us out of Egypt. 22:33
Sabbath day of sacred rest 23:3
Recalling living in tents 23:43
Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.
This plan follows those traditions that take a third of the portion
over a three year cycle, this year, the third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.
The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12, so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions near the International Date Line.