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Sukkot Blessings

Please note that this page contain the name of God.
If you print it out, please treat it with appropriate respect.

If you do not have experience reading transliteration
please see the Guide to Transliteration.

On the first two nights of Sukkot, kiddush, the blessing for dwelling in the sukkah, and shehecheyanu should be recited over a cup of wine in the sukkah, if possible. Words in parentheses are read only on Shabbat. If it is not possible to recite these blessings in the sukkah, omit the blessing for dwelling in the sukkah.

Sukkot Kiddush 

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Kiddush is recited while holding a cup of wine or other liquid, no less than 3.3 ounces. If wine or grape juice is not used, you should substitute shehakol nih'yeh bid'varo (by whose will all things come to be) for borei p'ri hagafen (who creates the fruit of the vine).

On Friday nights (Shabbat), insert the first paragraph of Shabbat kiddush here, that is, from Vay'hiy erev to asher bara Elohiym la'asot. On all other nights, skip words in [brackets].

If you would like to hear the festival kiddush, check out these RealPlayer recordings of Cantor Pinchas Rabinovicz chanting Passover kiddush: (which is exactly the same as Sukkot kiddush with two exceptions: chag ha-Sukkot instead of chag ha-matzot, and z'man simchateynu instead of z'man cheyruteynu).

These recordings come from 613.org, a great source of free traditional audio files. (Please note: These recordings use Ashkenazic pronunciation)

Hebrew
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe
(if using wine or grape juice)
Hebrew
borei p'ri hagafen (Amein)
Who creates the fruit of the vine (Amen)
(if using other liquids)
Hebrew
shehakol nih'yeh bid'varo (Amein)
Who made all things exist through His word (Amen)
Hebrew
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe
Hebrew
asher bachar banu mikol am v'rom'manu mikol lashon
who has chosen us from among all people, and exalted us above every tongue
Hebrew
v'kid'shanu b'mitz'votav vatiten lanu Adonai eloheinu b'ahavah
and sanctified us with His commandments, and you gave us, Lord our God, with love
Hebrew
[shabatot lim'nuchah u]mo'adim l'sim'chah chagim uz'manim l'sason
[Sabbaths for rest, and] appointed festivals for gladness, festivals and times for joy
Hebrew
et yom [ha-shabbat hazeh v'et yom]
this day of [Sabbath and this day of]
Hebrew
chag hasukot hazeh z'man sim'chateinu
the festival of Sukkot, the time of our gladness
Hebrew
[b'ahavah] mik'ra kodesh zeikher litzi'at mitz'rayim
[with love] a holy convocation, a memorial of the exodus from Egypt
Hebrew
ki vanu vachar'ta v'otanu kidash'ta mikol ha'amim
because You have chosen us and made us holy from all peoples
Hebrew
[v'shabat] umo'adei kad'shekha [b'ahavah uv'ratzon]
and [the Sabbath and] your holy festivals [in love and favor]
Hebrew
b'simchah u-v'sason hin'chal'tanu
in gladness and in joy you have given us for an inheritance
Hebrew Hebrew
Barukh atah Adonai, m'kadeish [hashabat v']Yis'ra'eil v'haz'manim. (Amein).
Blessed are you, Lord, who sanctifies [Shabbat and] Israel and the seasons. (Amen).

Don't drink the wine yet! There are two more blessings!

Blessing for Dwelling in the Sukkah 

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This blessing should be recited at any time you are fulfilling the mitzvah of dwelling in the sukkah, for example, before you eat a meal in the sukkah.

Hebrew
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe
Hebrew
asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu
Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us
Hebrew
leisheiv basukah (Amein).
to dwell in the sukkah (Amen)

Shehecheyanu: Who Has Kept Us Alive 

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Hebrew
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe
Hebrew
shehecheyanu v'kiyimanu v'higi'anu laz'man hazeh. (Amein)
who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season (Amen)

Drink the Kiddush wine after the Shehecheyanu blessing.

Blessing over the Arba Minim (Four Species) 

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One of the commandments of Sukkot is to take the arba minim (four species) and wave them each day of the holiday (except Shabbat). This is normally done during morning services in synagogue, before the Hallel prayers, but I like to do it in my sukkah in the morning before going to synagogue. Both customs are common and acceptable.

Waving Procedure - Animated GIF

Stand facing the east (or whatever direction is toward Jerusalem from where you are).

Take the etrog in your left hand with the stem (green tip) up and the pitam (brown tip) down. Take the lulav (including the palm, myrtle and willow branches bound together) in your right hand. Bring your hands together and recite the blessing below.

After you recite the blessing, turn the etrog so the stem is down and the pitam is up. Be careful not to damage the pitam! With the lulav and etrog together, gently shake forward (East) three times, then pull the lulav and etrog back in front of your chest. Repeat this to the right (South), then over your right shoulder (West), then to the left (North), then up, then down.

Hebrew
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe
Hebrew
asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu
Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us
Hebrew
al n'tilat lulav (Amein)
to take up the lulav (Amen)

Farewell to the Sukkah 

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Some explanation of this unusual blessing is in order: The Talmud teaches that when the messiah comes, the righteous will come to Jerusalem and the Leviathan (a giant sea creature created on the fifth day) will be slain. Its skin will be used to make the walls of a giant sukkah, and the righteous will dine on the flesh of the Leviathan in that sukkah. Thus, the essence of this farewell prayer is the hope that the messiah will come within the next year.

Hebrew
Y'hi ratzon mil'fanekha Adonai Eloheinu vei'lohei avoteinu
May it be Your will, Lord, our God and God of our ancestors
Hebrew
k'sheim shekiyam'ti v'yashav'ti basukah zu
that just as I have stood up and dwelled in this sukkah
Hebrew
kein ez'keh l'shanah haba'ah leisheiv b'sukat oro shel Liv'yatan.
so may I merit next year to dwell in the sukkah of the hide of the Leviathan.
Hebrew
l'shanah haba'ah birushalayim
Next year in Jerusalem!

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