What a wonderful opportunity to teach future generations not just the responsibilities of being a Jew, but the joy of being a Jew!
“Do the Sukkah, hop, hop, hop, do the Sukkah hop, hop, hop …” starts the new song that we will begin singing on Yom Kippur and for the next five days, because sometimes, we need a little encouragement to look forward to the next holiday.
Every year Rabbi Weber announces at High Holidays that the Men’s Club will be building the temple’s large sukkah – and everyone is welcome to help in the construction and the enjoyment for the full seven days of the Sukkot holiday. We string up lights and provide tables and chairs; you bring the rest. Many families come with picnic lunches or dinners or snacks to fulfill the mitzvah of sitting, eating and drinking in the sukkah. A few hardy souls can even opt to bring pillows and sleeping bags and camp out overnight.
This year, though, we’re adding something new to shake things up a bit: we’re going to have a Sukkah Hop – based on a progressive dinner model, but much more fun. On Shabbat, October 11th, we will begin in our sanctuary with an abbreviated Shabbat/Sukkot service, and then start a caravan procession to every participating family that has built their own sukkah. And the first two families who call me will get to use one of our two new pre-made TRT sukkot - some assembly required.
Never made a sukkah? Our two “loaner” sukkot come with full instructions and everything you need. If you choose to buy your own, I can recommend several good web sites to choose from. And if you want to build your own, I’ll provide you with step-by-step instructions and a list of materials you will need; they are available in the school office. Then invite your neighbors to come and help. Kids can make decorations, and older teens can help hang them. Adults can bask in the knowledge that you are doing more than just building a temporary structure: you are teaching a powerful lesson that participating in Jewish life is critical to Jewish survival. What a wonderful opportunity to teach future generations not just the responsibilities of being a Jew, but the joy of being a Jew! And Sukkot is the perfect place to start, as traditionally it is called z’man simhateinu: our time of rejoicing.
So come rejoice with us. Beth Moncher and Tmima Grinvald are spearheading this effort – many thanks to them in advance for encouraging us and ensuring that this program happens. Please call us at 732-308-3836 and tell us if you are building a sukkah, if you want to borrow ours, or if you just want to join our Sukkah Hop even though you are not building your own. You are welcome to come, and maybe visiting other temple families will persuade you to construct one next year!
Rabbi Shira Stern