The Jewish Calendar and Holidays (incl. Sabbath): Sukkos: Reading Koheles:
Why do we read Koheles on Sukkos?
The custom of reading Koheles on Shabbos Chol Ha-Moed Sukkos
is mentioned by the Rema (Orach Chayim 490:9). A possible
allusion to Sukkos in Koheles is 11:2, "Give a portion to seven
and also to eight", which the Talmud (Eruvin 40b) explains as
referring to Sukkos and Shemini Atzeres; and the gathering of
the people in the seventh month in Solomon's time (1 Kings 8:2)
is described as "Va-Yikohalu" (Machzor Vitri p.441). Another
suggestion is that the phrase "Anascha be-simcha" (Koheles 2:1)
refers to the water libation (nisuch ha-mayim) and the festival
of the drawing of the water (simchas beis ha-shoevah), which
took place on Sukkos.
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