Feast of the Tabernacles – A SAFI gathering under the Sukkah
Sunday 7th October – With thanks to our part-sponsor, the ICEJ (International Christian Embassy Jerusalem), yet another successful South African Friends of Israel (SAFI) cultural exchange was hosted by celebrating the festival of Sukkot, with some of our Christian leaders. The Feast of the Tabernacles took place under the beautiful Sukkah at Sydenham Shul, in Johannesburg, where the tables were laden with all the traditional foods.
Amongst the many guest speakers, Chief Rabbi, Dr Warren Goldstein, was in attendence, and addressed the guests by explaining the importance and relevance of the Sukkah, and why it needs to be built using natural elements, allowing for the rain to come in, and "taking refuge in G-d, and not in bricks and mortar".
Rabbi Daniel Kaplan explained that the Sukkah represents the ‘Clouds of Glory’ that encamped the Jewish people while they travelled in the desert. The clouds protected the Israelites from attacks from dangerous animals and enemies, and by night turned into a cloud of fire, to light up their path. The Sukkah, therefore, serves as a reminder that your well-being and livelihood comes from G-d, which is why you remove yourselves from the comforts of your home to live in the Sukkah.
Vivienne Myburgh, (National Director – South African Branch - ICEJ) expressed the need for Christians to stand up and speak out for our shared biblical connection to the Holy Land and explained that “without a knowledge of the Old Testament that Christians would not be able to understand their roots”.
Bishop Matula closed the event with a moving prayer of support for the Holy Land and the people of South Africa.
These events are of utmost importance to engage with other faiths, cultural and ethnic groups in the interest of building a broader grass roots support base for Israel in South Africa.
We would also like to give thanks to the Sydenham Shul Choir, lead by Josie Stern, whom serenaded the guests with a selection of beautiful traditional songs, adding to the ambience of the special event. As well as the talented singer Mpho Matula, from Calvary Worship Centre Soweto.
We are blessed and thankful to have so many friends who support the local Jewish community and share a love for Israel.
* The ICEJ educates Christians all over the world about Israel's unique calling, political situation and social challenges. They recognize the biblical significance of all of Jerusalem and its unique connection with the Jewish people. Today, it represents millions of Christians, churches, and denominations to the nation and people of Israel. We recognize in the restoration of the State of Israel God's faithfulness to keep His ancient covenant with the Jewish people.