by David Bardin
Sukkot, starting at the full moon after Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, has earthly and spiritual aspects. In Hebrew, Sukkot means huts (or booths or tabernacles). Sukkah is the singular.
Each Sukkah is a place in which to celebrate and commemorate. We give thanks for good harvests and other blessings. We recall an experience of living in huts, as ex-slaves who escaped from Egypt 3333 years ago (give or take), while traveling for years around Sinai and south Negev before entering a promised land. A Sukkah is a peaceful place.
Tradition offers two interpretations of a Sukkah: A symbol of trust in Divine protection or of fragility of our mastery over our environment. Either way, a Sukkah lets one look through its top to see sky or clouds, moon and stars.
Synagogues, temples, and other institutions set up Sukkahs for community enjoyment. Families set up a Sukkah in the yard or on a balcony. Many are beautifully decorated with imaginative designs and seasonal flora.
I think it would be fun if readers sent in photos of Sukkahs in our neighborhood (Ed.: Please do! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post them here). Here are two of our small balcony Sukkah as starters.
The photo above shows Livia, Jacob, Rina, and David Bardin in a pre-fab Sukkah at night (courtesy of Donna Bardin). Livia and I set up our Sukkah on an open balcony, as a temporary holiday hut surrounding a park bench. We eat and drink there and relax. I nap on the bench.
Sunshine pouring through the top of our Sukkah.
This is framework of our pre-fab Sukkah, set up on our balcony.