This picture by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim depicts a Jewish family celebrating the festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles) in Frankfurt. The family is seated inside the Sukkah (temporary booth) whilst outside, two blonde children with satchels on their backs (possibly non-Jews) are peering in curiously. Also pictured outside of the Sukkah is a maid bringing the family a tureen of food. The Sukkah is made of wood and is also elaborately decorated with lanterns, floral wreaths, and even curtains. Of special note are the Christmas ornaments hanging from the roof of the Sukkah.
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Sukkot - The Festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles) has two central commandments that appear in the Torah. The first is that Jews should live in a temporary abode (Sukkah) for seven days (eight days outside of Israel). The second is that on every day of the festival, Jews take the Four Species (Arba’at HaMinim) in hand and make a blessing over them.
Sukkah - During the festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles), Jews are commanded, according to the Torah, to leave their permanent home and live in a temporary abode (Sukkah) for seven days. The Sukkah’s purpose is to provide shade and must therefore be built under the sky (not under a balcony). The walls can be made of any material so long as they are secure whilst the roof (Schach) must provide more shade than light during the day but provide enough room to see the stars at night, thereby giving the sense of a temporary abode.
Moritz Daniel Oppenheim - Moritz Daniel Oppenheim was born in Hanau, Germany in 1800. He was one of the first recognised modern Jewish artists. He lived in the era of the Emancipation when many Jewish families were rapidly assimilating. Oppenheim, nonetheless, painted a number of portraits of traditional Jewish families performing various religious ceremonies. He also painted middle-class Germans.