Wandering has been part of Jewish history since Biblical times. Early in the Torah, we read Lech Lecha, a portion all about Abraham leaving his father’s house. During Sukkot, we physically remember our 40 years of wandering in the desert between Egypt and Israel. Today, many Jews live in communities far from where their ancestors dwelled. Our relationship to land has often been temporary, subject to the whims of others.
As we have wandered, we have arrived on lands once, or still home, to indigenous people. Sukkot, a holiday closely tied to agriculture, land and thanksgiving, is an opportunity to learn about, honor and recognize those who first inhabited these places. In the US, November is Native American Heritage Month, making it another opportunity to learn the history and the present of Native communities.
Dedicate one night of Sukkot or the month of November to researching native peoples who lived in your community, acknowledging their existence and honoring their contributions. What were the names of their tribes? What happened to them historically? Who are the current leaders of that indigenous community? Seek out books, podcasts, artwork or stories by and about indigenous people.
Ready to host your own land acknowledgement? Start by going to Native Land (www.native-land.ca) to learn the names of the tribes who have lived in your community. Then visit #HonorNativeLand (https://usdac.us/nativeland) to download a land acknowledgement guide and print colorful posters designed by native artists to hang in your sukkah.
From Seeker Season Guidebook for the Curious & Courageous: https://highholidaysathome.com/haggadah/seeker-season
Holiday/Event: Any Holiday
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