Q. What is the “leviathan” that the Sukkot prayers refer to?A. The leviathan is a legendary sea-monster described in chapter 40 of the Book of Job.
It is said to be the most powerful of the creatures of the sea, unconquerable by man but finally to be vanquished by God Himself.
The leviathan plays a prominent role in Jewish folklore. The sages, commenting on Job 40:30, “And the pious shall make a banquet of it”, say that at the resurrection of the dead the tzaddikim will have a banquet at which the leviathan’s flesh will be served.
From the creature’s hide God will make tents for the tzaddikim of the first rank, girdles for the second rank, chains for the third and necklaces for the fourth.
Many commentators treat these legends as an allegory; Maimonides sees the banquet of leviathan as an allusion to spiritual and intellectual enjoyment.
The former Leviathan store in Melbourne presumably got this name because of its size.