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The sukkah is life

18 0 0

At the end of the day, despite our cinder block corners, despite our metal cross bars, despite the snap-in joints, the sukkah is not a solid structure.

For years I have been asked by Israelis “when are you coming for Sukkot?” I always blamed my absence on the cost of staying in a hotel, how many days of yom tov I would hold by, and a myriad of other excuses only an Anglo could concoct.

Well, having made aliya in March, I’m here and looking forward to my first Sukkot in Jerusalem albeit in lockdown.

I am fortunate in that the merpesit (balcony) of my apartment accommodates a sukkah. The schach is up, left there by the prior tenant, and I have enough walls to comply with Jewish law.

Back in the states, I, like many of my fellow American Jews, would have been very busy preparing for the chag. We’d be searching for the pieces of the sukkah in our basements or garages, then standing on ladders joining together corners, then taking them down when we realized they were upside down.

We struggled to remember which way the windows opened or whether the canvas was on the right side of the frame, and kept saying to ourselves, “did I do it his way last year?” We found the schach or bought new when we realized we didn’t have enough because we lost some in the hurricane.

And, finally, we watched with pride as the decorations so laboriously made by our children, or bought by our wives, went up and, miracle of miracles, the timers and lights worked. Of course, you could have done what I used to do and call my local Chabad guys who sold me the sukkah in the first place and have them put it up in exchange for a modest contribution.

Those of us of a certain age who learned their preliminary Judaic traditions from the Jewish Catalogue could easily refer to the instructions it contained on how to build a kosher sukkah. You will find them on page 129. It........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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