by Toby Rosenberg, congregant
This is the perfect year to celebrate the holiday of Sukkot at home in your own sukkah (literally, a booth).
Have you lately wished that your house would sprout another room? Build a sukkah.
Have you lately wished that you felt comfortable going out to dinner just for a change of atmosphere? Go eat out in your sukkah.
Does a quiet spot in nature for private reflection intrigue you? You’ll find it in the sukkah.
How about virtual school in the fresh air of your sukkah?
Maybe you are adventurous enough to camp out in your sukkah.
Does your family need a place to gather—possibly even with friends? Your breezy sukkah awaits.
Would your family benefit from a hands-on creative project that doesn’t demand precision? Build that sukkah.
From the evening of October 2 to October 9, the harvest festival of Sukkot invites you to renew yourself in a fragile shelter of your own creation. You can engage in the ancient agrarian ritual of shaking the lulav (palm, myrtle, and willow fronds bound together) and etrog (citron) and you can do as much living in your sukkah as a Maine autumn allows.
So what do you need to know about sukkah building? Your temporary structure can have four, three or two and a half side—like the letters samech, caf, and hey that form the word “sukkah.” Two of those walls can be part of a permanent structure like your house. The booth should be put together with temporary joinings like bindings or fittings. The roof should be of organic material through which you can see the stars. After that your only limit is your imagination. The links below will provide lots of inspiration and information, including the blessings for shaking the lulav. If you haven’t already purchased your lulav and etrog, reach out to Chabad of Maine. Rabbi Wilansky has some for sale.
Once you have built your sukkah you may well want to share it. I will coordinate two options:
1. Send me photos of or from your sukkah at tobyrosenbergpottery @ gmail.com. We will find a way to share them with others.
2. Set up a Zoom Sukkah event. Email me the date and time by Monday, October 5. I will get those Zoom events listed with your contact. Those interested will email you for the link.
Chag Sameach Sukkot and happy building!
Here are the links I promised:
“Building a Sukkah,” with Mayim Bialek of Big Bang Theory
Building a sukkah with mostly lattice and twine
Broaden and deepen you knowledge with two articles from My Jewish Learninghttps://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/sukkot-101/https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/sukkot-2020/
Congregants Jane Sloven and Joe Py share their sukkah building
A sukkah by Asherah Cinnamon
An etrog box by Toby Rosenberg
The Fisher family’s first sukkah
The sukkah in art
A tabletop sukkah with Maine rocks