October 12, 2011, - 3:18 pm

Sukkot 2011: To My Friends & Readers

By Debbie Schlussel

Tonight at sundown, the Jewish holiday of Sukkot begins (and ends next week–it lasts seven days). I’ll be posting one or two ore things tonight and I have several newsworthy things I’ve written in advance, which will be posted during my absence on Thursday and Friday–stuff you won’t read anywhere else. Also, my movie reviews will–G-d-willing–be posted on Friday, in my absence. So stay tuned.

Sukkot is one of my favorite Jewish holidays because it’s a cool fall, outdoors holiday. Here’s some information about Sukkot, from a previous post:

Sukkot (also called Sukkos, Succos, or Succot) is called Tabernacles in English. It is one of the three Jewish harvest festival holidays, and we commemorate the Jews’ temporary existence (and temporary dwellings), while wandering in the Sinai desert [and subject to the will of G-d and the weather conditions imposed by Him].

sukkah4.jpgsukkah2.jpg

Various Versions of Sukkahs/Sukkot

To do so, Jews build temporary huts (called “Sukkot” for plural) outside their homes. They decorate the Sukkah (singular of the word) and eat all meals there during the holiday. (My father used to sleep in it, too.) It is very fun for kids because they help decorate the sukkah, and also visit other Sukkot in the neighborhood, eating candy and other treats there, sort of like on Halloween (but no tricks or treats, and it’s way more spiritual). My late father used to make his special drink for visiting kids, Vernor’s Ginger Ale, mixed with powdered Nestle’s quick and a generous splash of Rich’s Coffee Rich (sometimes he substituted Faygo Rock & Rye soda (we call it “pop” in Michigan) for the ginger ale).

It’s a very nature-oriented/camping-style holiday (for those who don’t necessarily like to camp) mixed with hospitality, friends, and family: at night, you have to be able to see the stars through the leaves and branches that compose the roof. And many of the traditional decorations are gourds and colored, dried corn. And you are supposed to welcome people to your sukkah.

I miss the Sukkah my late father constructed and built every year and the many decorations he put up. As I’ve written before, my favorite was a giant laminated aerial photo of the Old City of Jerusalem with thick white tape my dad affixed to cover up the mosque improperly and illegally built atop the Jewish Temple Mount. I also loved seeing the American and Israeli flags my dad put on the walls of our Sukkah. And we had other patriotic American stuff. There was cool American kitsch, too, with holiday cards featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Donald and Daisy Duck, etc.

Friends of mine invited me for meals in their Sukkot for the next few days. And I’m looking forward to it. Their sukkah is very cool. It has cool tropical decorations, including palm trees and pink flamingos. Another set of friends whose sukkah I’ll visit has a magnificent chandelier.

More on Sukkot here, here, and here.

In the meantime, stay tuned to my new posts later today, and in my absence the next two days. Y’all come back now, ya hear!

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13 Responses

Chag Sameach!

Roni on October 12, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Chag Sameach and may the bees stay far, far away from you!

I_AM_ME on October 12, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Sukkot is a tremendous blessing and my favorite Appointed Time!

PDMac60 on October 12, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Chag Sameach!

Not Ovenready on October 12, 2011 at 5:16 pm

This holiday sounds very interesting Debbie, and I hope you enjoy it, stay safe and don’t do anything I would do Debbie, LOL (you know I’m just kidding around at my last sentence)!

“A nation is defined by its borders, language & culture!”

Sean R. on October 12, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Sometime you should do Sukkot in New Mexico. Las Cruces is lovely this time of year, and the desert sky is incredible at night.

Occam's Tool on October 12, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Chag Sameach!

Michelle on October 12, 2011 at 5:58 pm

I would love to celebrate Sukkot, but have no family anymore.
I will just enjoy the season.
Chag Sameach

Tina on October 12, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Chag Sameach!

(As an aside, I adore Vernors! The most prevalent food related memories I have of my grandma and grandpa’s house were the relish trays and the cases of Vernors. They didn’t cook much. :) )

cirrus1701 on October 12, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Vernor’s is the best ginger ale in all of creation.

    It has a bite and a taste like no other soft drink.

    I haven’t heard Vernor’s mentioned in decades.

    I drank it by the case during my childhood growing up on the East Side of Columbus, Ohio, in the historic African-American community of Mt. Vernon. You don’t have to be Jewish to love Vernor’s!

    Linky Drake on October 13, 2011 at 6:35 am

Does a rental apartment count as a Sukkah? Just wondering.

Chag Sameach.

The Reverend Jacques on October 12, 2011 at 10:11 pm

One day I would love to meet you. You are such an inspiration to youth throughout the world! I’m a freshman at New York University and you represent my thoughts and ideas perfectly.

Jordan Cohen on October 13, 2011 at 12:13 am

Chag Sameach,Debbie and all the Jewish readers here.

JeffE on October 16, 2011 at 9:21 pm

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