Today we read a bit of Sukkot history. Excerpts quoted: “Sukkot, a Hebrew word meaning “booths” or “huts,” refers to the annual Jewish festival of giving thanks for a bountiful fall harvest and commemorates the 40 years of Jewish wandering in the desert after the giving of the Torah atop Mt. Sinai. Sukkot begins five days after Yom Kippur. It is observed for seven days by Israelis and many Reform Jews, and for eight days by other Jews living outside Israel. The eighth day of Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, is traditionally a separate festival in its own right. In Reform congregations, which generally observe one day of holidays, rather than two, Shemini Atzeret is observed concurrently with Simchat Torah, the festival of “rejoicing in the Torah.” – (See more at: http://www.reformjudaism.org/sukkot-history#sthash.dwUj5rrj.dpuf)
Nehemiah 8 New International Version (NIV) 14 They found written in the Law, which the Lord had commanded through Moses, that the Israelites were to live in temporary shelters during the festival of the seventh month 15 and that they should proclaim this word and spread it throughout their towns and in Jerusalem: “Go out into the hill country and bring back branches from olive and wild olive trees, and from myrtles, palms and shade trees, to make temporary shelters”—as it is written.[b] 16 So the people went out and brought back branches and built themselves temporary shelters on their own roofs, in their courtyards, in the courts of the house of God and in the square by the Water Gate and the one by the Gate of Ephraim. 17 The whole company that had returned from exile built temporary shelters and lived in them. From the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day, the Israelites had not celebrated it like this. And their joy was very great.
“Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field. “Celebrate the Festival of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in your crops from the field.
Bible verses from Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
Therefore, say that Adonai Elohim says this: ‘“I will gather you from the peoples and collect you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give the land of Isra’el to you.”
I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you were scattered, with a mighty hand, with a stretched-out arm and with poured-out fury;
I will accept you with your sweet aroma when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you were scattered; and through you I will manifest my holiness in the sight of the nations.
“Adonai Elohim says, ‘Once I have gathered the house of Isra’el from the peoples among whom they are scattered, once I have shown my holiness in them as the Goyim watch, then they will live in their own land, which I gave to my servant Ya‘akov.
I will bring them back from those peoples, gather them from those countries and return them to their own land. Then I will let them feed on the mountains of Isra’el, by the streams and in all the livable places of the land.
For I will take you from among the nations, gather you from all the countries, and return you to your own soil.
Then say to them that Adonai Elohim says: ‘I will take the people of Isra’el from among the nations where they have gone and gather them from every side and bring them back to their own land.
New International Version (NIV)
“Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’
I will accept you as fragrant incense when I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will be proved holy through you in the sight of the nations.
Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Because you have all become dross, I will gather you into Jerusalem.
As silver, copper, iron, lead and tin are gathered into a furnace to be melted with a fiery blast, so will I gather you in my anger and my wrath and put you inside the city and melt you.
I will gather you and I will blow on you with my fiery wrath, and you will be melted inside her.
“‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When I gather the people of Israel from the nations where they have been scattered, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of the nations. Then they will live in their own land, which I gave to my servant Jacob.
I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land.
“‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.
and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land.
I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land.”
When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of many nations.
Then they will know that I am the Lord their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind.