Pictures from the IDF Archives, published on the IDF Website for the first time, show soldiers' sukkot celebrations from throughout Israel's history
In honor of the holiday of Sukkot, the IDF and Defense Establishment Archives have released pictures documenting Sukkot celebrations throughout the history of the IDF. Here is a first look at this historical record.
Soldiers praying on Sukkot in the 1950s. Photo courtesy of the IDF and Defense Establishment Archives
Sukkot prayers in the 1950s. Photo courtesy of the IDF and Defense Establishment Archives
Soldiers dance with a Torah following Simhat Torah in the 1950s. Photo courtesy of the IDF and Defense Establishment Archives
Just days before Sukkot 1973 – on the holiday of Yom Kippur – Syria and Egypt attacked Israel, beginning the Yom Kippur War. Throughout Israel, soldiers in reserve and regular service units were called to the various fronts. Shortly before the beginning of Sukkot, the Israeli Navy routed the Syrian Navy. Even under these circumstances, IDF soldiers managed to mark the holiday at defensive positions from the northern front bordering Syria and Lebanon to the southern front bordering Egypt.
Sukkot in the Sons of Light Armored Brigade during the Yom Kippur War,1973. Photo courtesy of the IDF and Defense Establishment Archives
On one Simhat Torah holiday in the early 1970s, the Tzrifin base, one of the army's largest bases, received a surprise visitor for the celebration: then-Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Haim Bar-Lev
Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Haim Bar-Lev holds a Torah during Simhat Torah celebration at Tzrifin base, early 1970s. Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit
In addition to maintaining routine operational activity, the IDF builds traditional sukkot (huts) at each of its bases in honor of the holiday. In 1977, then-Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Mordechai (Motta) Gur visited the sukkah at the Camp Rabin (Kirya) base, home to senior IDF officers including the Chief of the General Staff. In 1983, this sukkah's guests included Head of the Manpower Directorate Brig. Gen. (later, Maj. Gen.) Amos Yaron and Chief Military Rabbi Maj. Gen. Gad Navon.
Chief of Staff Mordechai (Motta) Gur at the Camp Rabin sukkah, September 28, 1977. Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit.
Sukkot celebration with Brig. Gen. Amos Yaron and Rabbi Maj. Gen. Gad Navon, September 23, 1983. Photo courtesy: IDF Spokesperson's Unit.