The days between Yom Kippur and Sukkot are traditionally characterized by frenzied activity, as we prepare for the coming festival. This period is described in the Midrash as one when the Jewish people are "preoccupied with mitzvot... this one is occupied with [building] his sukkah, this one is occupied with [purchasing and binding] his lulav..."

Immediately on the night following Yom Kippur, we eagerly begin working on – or at least planning – the construction of the sukkah. Building a sukkah is a mitzvah in itself; therefore, if possible we try not to delegate the task to others, but reserve the honor for ourselves. We also take the time to select the most beautiful Four Species set we can afford.

To obtain your own set of the Four Species, contact your local Chabad rabbi, or click here.

In honor of the impending holiday, husbands buy their wives clothing and/or jewelry. And since one of the themes of Sukkot is Jewish unity, we make a point of inviting guests for the festive meals. Before Sukkot is the time to think of the people who might appreciate an invite.

On the eve of the festival, in addition to cooking the delicious food that we will later enjoy together in the sukkah, we:

  • Give extra charity, since true joy is sharing with others;
  • Bind the lulav. This should ideally be done inside the sukkah;
  • If the festival begins on a Wednesday night, we prepare an eruv tavshilin.

Women and girls light holiday candles and recite the appropriate blessings (click here for candle lighting times in your location, and here for the text of the blessings). The candles should be set up in the sukkah if at all possible, weather permitting.