Learn Hebrew – Sukkot Words & Phrases
Free word-sheet with English, Hebrew, Transliterations & Explanations
Aliyah – עליה
Aliyah refers to an honor that is given to a person who is chosen to go up to read from the Torah. This is especially significant on Simchat Torah (the last day of Sukkot) when we read the last chapter of Deuteronomy and the first chapter of Genesis.
The word Aliyah also refers to immigration to Israel.
Circles – הקפות
Hakafot or circling; this refers to a celebratory circling – dancing, singing and holding the Torah – practiced on Sukkot and Simchat Torah
Citron – אתרוג
The Citron or Etrog – one of the 4 species
Four species – ארבעת המינים
Genesis – בראשית
Bereishit – the first chapter of the first book of the Torah which we read on Simchat Torah – the last day of Sukkot.
Giving thanks – הלל
Hallel – a collection of prayers and psalms giving thanks. Holiday blessings…
Inviting guests – אושפיזין
‘Ushpizin’ is the traditional practice of inviting guests to your Sukkah especially the poor.
Intermediate days – חול המועד
Chol Hamoed refers to the intermediate days of Sukkot between the 1st and 7th day in Israel or between the 2nd and 8th days in the Diaspora. The customary greeting for Chol Hamoed is ‘Moadim L’Simcha.
Myrtle – הדס
Hadas – one of the 4 species
Palm branch – לולב
Lulav – one of the 4 species
Rain – גשם
Geshem – rain. Prayers for rain are recited during Sukkot
Roof of foliage – סכך
Schach is the foliage used to build a roof for the Sukkah. Traditionally palm leaves are used for Schach but today many use bamboo branches or grass mats.
Tabernacle/booth – סוכה
Sukkah – Jews are commanded to dwell; live and eat in a Sukkah for the duration of the festival. The plural of the word Sukkah is Sukkot.
Three pilgrim festivals – שלושה רגלים
Willow – ערבה
Arava – a willow branch, one of the 4 species.