With the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot in Hebrew) holiday approaching next week, the whole nation of Israel is entering a festive mood, as families buy supplies for their sukkahs (tabernacles).
Alongside all the Israeli families making preparations for Sukkot, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) is also making preparations for its annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration.
The ICEJ Feast of Tabernacles is the largest Evangelical Christian celebration in Israel each year, bringing thousands of tourists to Israel for eight days of celebrations in Galilee, Jerusalem and the Negev.
This year's theme is called "King of all the earth," taken from Psalm 47:7, which reads: 'For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with understanding.'
ICEJ will be welcoming around 3,000 Christians from more than 80 nations, including groups from Egypt, Turkey and as far away as Fiji, where a specially chartered flight from Fiji Airways will make its first-ever landing at Ben-Gurion International Airport.
Joining that flight will be Fijian Deputy Prime Minister Viliame Gavoka, who is leading his government’s effort to open an embassy in Jerusalem.
“We are privileged again to welcome the nations to Jerusalem for Sukkot, according to the ancient vision of the Hebrew prophet Zechariah,” said ICEJ President Dr. Jürgen Bühler.
“We trust that as they encounter Israel up close, that they will return to their home countries with a deeper love for this nation and a fresh inspiration from God, in keeping with Isaiah’s prophecy that the word of the Lord will go forth from Jerusalem.”
Pilgrims attending the 8-day Feast of Tabernacles events will hear speeches from Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel, and Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, who will address gatherings throughout the celebration.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog will deliver pre-recorded greetings to the pilgrims, welcoming them to Israel.
One of the popular activities at the Feast of Tabernacles is the Jerusalem March, where the Christian visitors from various nations wear traditional costumes from their native countries and display flags in a march of support for Israel and the Jewish people through the streets of Jerusalem.
The Jerusalem March will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 4 is usually attended and observed by thousands of local Israelis, as well.
This year, Feast pilgrims will be able to participate in a dedication ceremony in the Be’eri Forest for the “Christian Embassy Nature Park,” part of a special project between the ICEJ and the Jewish National Fund to replant a 126-acre section of the forest which was destroyed by aerial balloon arson attacks launched from Gaza.
The ICEJ celebrates the Feast of Tabernacles in Israel in prophetic expectation of the fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 14 which says that, following a time of great battle, Jerusalem will be miraculously rescued by God and that the survivors of all the nations “shall go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.”
For more information about the ICEJ’s Feast of Tabernacles, click here.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.