Reading for First Days of Sukkot

A bullock or sheep or goat that is born shall be seven days under its mother; and from the eighth day and thenceforth it shall be accepted for an offering made by fire to G‑d.

Whether it be cow or ewe, you shall not kill it and its young both in one day...

Our Parshah also contains the precept, "I shall be sanctified among the children of Israel," which implies the duty to "sanctify the Name" by giving up one's life, if necessary, rather than betray our covenant with G‑d.

Appointments in Time

Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: The appointed times of G‑d, which you shall proclaim as callings of holiness — these are My appointed times:

Six days shall work be done. But the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, a calling of holiness, you shall do no work: it is a sabbath to G‑d in all your dwellings....

On the fourteenth day of the first month towards evening is G‑d's Passover. On the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Matzot to G‑d: seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.

The first and seventh days of the "Festival of Matzot" are days of rest, on which no work is done.

On the second day of Passover, an omer (a biblical measure, the equivalent of approximately 3 pounds) of barley from the very first grain harvest of the year is to be brought as an offering in the Holy Temple. It is forbidden to eat from the year's harvest until the omer offering is brought. From that day begins the countdown to the festival of Shavuot, when an offering of "two breads" prepared from wheat are offered:

You shall count for yourselves from the morrow of the Shabbat, from the day on which you bring the omer offering, seven complete weeks they shall be; until the morrow of the seventh week, you shall count fifty days... And you shall proclaim that very day a holy festival.

More Appointments

The first of the seventh month (Tishrei) is a day of remembrance and blowing of the shofar (ram's horn). The tenth day of that month

shall be a day of atonement; it shall be a calling of holiness to you. You shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to G‑d. You shall do no work on that very same day, for it is a day of atonement (Yom Kippurim), to make atonement for you before G‑d.

On the fifteenth of Tishrei begins the seven-day Sukkot festival, followed by an eighth day of festivities (Shemini Atzeret):

The first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.

You shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of the hadar tree, branches of palm trees, the boughs of thick-leaved trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before G‑d your G‑d seven days...

You shall dwell in huts seven days... so that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in huts when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am G‑d your G‑d.

Moses declared to the children of Israel the appointed seasons of G‑d.