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Briefly In Religion

Sukkot and Simchat Torah celebrations

Chabad Jewish Center, 30804 Coast Highway, will celebrate Sukkot and Simchat this week to end the High Holidays.


The Sukkot holiday commemorates the travels of the Jewish people in the Sinai Desert prior to their entry into the Holy Land, where miraculous “clouds of glory” surrounded and hovered over them, shielding them from the desert. To celebrate this miracle, Jews dwell in a Sukkah, a hut of temporary construction with a roof covering of branches, for the duration of the Sukkot festival. For seven days and nights, all meals are eaten in the Sukkah, and it is regarded as a home.

The month of High Holidays comes to an end with the Holiday of Simchat Torah, (“Rejoicing of the Torah”). On this day, the annual Torah reading cycle is concluded and begun anew. The event is marked with great rejoicing, especially during the “hakafot” procession, in which there is marching, singing and dancing with the Torah scrolls around the reading table in the synagogue.


At 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Chabad Hebrew School will host Pasta in the Sukkah. The event is open to all kids in the community and features David Cousins and his amazing juggling show, Lulav and Etrog shakes, edible Sukkah crafts, pasta and salad in the Sukkah. Cost is $5 per person and reservations are required.

At 7 p.m. Thursday, a Gala Simchat Torah Celebration will take place with flags and treats for the kids and a buffet in the Sukkah.

For more information, and a complete schedule of Sukkot and Simchat Torah services, call Chabad at (949) 499-0770 or visit

Blessing of animals at St. Mary’s


All Laguna Beach pets, great and small, and their owners are invited to attend St. Francis Day Evensong and Blessing of the Animals from 4 to 5 p.m. Oct. 3 at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church Outdoor Sanctuary.

Music provided by St. Mary’s Choir. Refreshments for all creatures to follow. For additional information or directions contact the parish office at or call (949) 494-3542.