Although Sukkot is mostly known as one of the most important Jewish holidays, today we focus on it as a place where the Israelites had their second stop in their long journey out of Egypt. The first location was Ramses, where they gathered before the departure for their ‘masa’ (journey by foot). Historians and archaeologists are debating the exact location of Sukkot, but most agree that it is a place that today is called ‘Tel Il Maschuta,’ which is found 14 miles from Ismaïlia, Egypt, which is near today’s Suez Canal.
“And the people of Israel moved from Rameses, and camped in Succoth”
Because of Sukkot’s proximity to the Egyptian hosts that were chasing them, the stay in Sukkot was very short. During this time, as a result of their haste to leave quickly, the Israelites baked their bread with no Yeast. To commemorate the hasty departure and this bread, Jews eat matzah during the seven days of Passover every year.
“You shall eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shall you eat unleavened bread with it, the bread of affliction; for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste; that you may remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life”
There is another Sukkot in the Bible that is located in the east side of the Jordan River, in today’s Kingdom of Jordan. This Sukkot was also an away station on the return journey of Jacob to the Land of Israel from Mesopotamia.
“And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built himself a house, and made booths for his cattle; therefore the name of the place is called Succoth”