(Written by Sheila Gail Landgraf)
Long ago, even long before your great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents were born, Abraham built a sukkah.
A sukkah is a three-sided structure that is open in the front so you can see the sky.
Abraham’s sukkah was near a tamarisk tree and a well of fresh spring water. It was located in an area of the land of Canaan near the road where the merchant’s and traders caravan’s traveled back and forth to the large cities to sell their goods at the market places.
Abraham would sit in the shade of his sukkah and welcome these guests to the land as they rode by.
He would invite them to come inside his sukkah and have a meal with him.
As they were eating Abraham would tell them the stories of God.
Abraham believed there was only One God; the God of Heaven and Earth; Our Creator.
Abraham did not worship other gods such as the pagans around him did. He wanted everyone to know about The One True God, so he would welcome everyone and tell them God’s stories at his table inside his sukkah as he fed them bread and wine.
Some of the years, during the time of the days of Awe, before Abraham began to prepare his sukkah for visitors, Abraham would go down by the sea.
He would sit on the shore and look at the sand and the waves rushing in.
Abraham would find himself in complete awe of the things God had created.
They were indeed wonderful!
Abraham would give thanks to God as he sat by the sea shore in the Days of Awe.
One day while he was sitting near the ocean in awe, God make Abraham a promise.
God told Abraham that his descendants would be as many as the sands of the sea.
Abraham knew that the sands of the sea were so many that it would be impossible to count them!
Abraham thanked God for this promise, even though as of yet, he did not even have one son with his wife Sarah.
Abraham still believed the things that God promised and he looked forward to the blessings that were to come.
Back at home near the road that the merchants traveled, Abraham sat in his sukkah again.
On many of the cool clear nights during the Fall Season Abraham looked up through the covering of his sukkah’s roof to see the stars in the sky twinkling back at him.
The stars were so bright and so beautiful that Abraham just had to praise God for creating them!
When Abraham worshiped God and praised Him as he sat in his sukkah; God made Abraham another wonderful promise.
God told Abraham that his descendants would be as many as the stars in the sky.
Abraham knew he could never count the number of stars in the sky, and that would be a great miracle!
As of yet, Abraham and Sarah had no children.
They were old!
Still; Abraham had faith in God and he believed God’s promises and he looked forward to the blessings of the future.
As the people traveled to and fro on the main trade route of the country, Abraham would invite these strangers into his sukkah.
Abraham would prepare feasts for his guests.
A feast is not just an ordinary meal, but a feast is a very festive meal with a purpose behind it.
Abraham’s purpose was to tell the stories of God to the people in the land.
Abraham and his wife Sarah were known for their gifts of welcome and hospitality to all the people of all the lands.
You would be amazed at the number of guests that Abraham entertained under the roof of his sukkah over the years!
Red, yellow, black or white, skin color did not matter to Father Abraham.
If you were rich or poor or in-between; you were invited to Abraham’s sukkah for a festive meal. The only requirement was that you had ears.
Ears are for listening and Abraham liked to tell the stories of God to each of his guests.
One day The Angel of The Lord (who was really Jesus in another form long before He came to live on earth as a man) and two other angels came to visit the sukkah of Abraham.
They were passing through the land when Abraham spotted them in the distance. He ran to them and invited them into his sukkah for a festive meal.
The three were on a mission from God. Part of their mission was to deliver a message to Abraham, but Abraham did not know this.
Abraham was so honored to have someone from The One True God that he worshiped sitting in his sukkah and gathering around his very table!
Abraham had Sarah to cook an elaborate and very special feast for them.
Abraham brought his very best offerings.
They shared a festive meal full of some serious talk but also some happy laughter.
After the meal they shared a glass of wine together.
Sarah was waiting inside the tent where she and Abraham lived, tending to some of the things she would bring out for dessert, and she could hear their voices carrying on the wind as they spoke inside the sukkah.
Sarah heard The Angel of The Lord tell Abraham that a son would be born to them.
Sarah could not help but laugh out loud because she was very old and past the age of having children.
So when Isaac, the son of Sarah and Abraham was born in their old age; it was a great miracle and Abraham and Sarah remembered the words that were told to Abraham as their special guests dined with them under the roof of their sukkah.
Sarah remembered her laughing and so they named him Isaac, which means “laughter.”
Abraham had faith to believe the things that God promised and he looked forward to the blessings that were to come.