Nina Badzin argues that there’s a better Jewish holiday to compare to Christmas than Hanukkah, and it’s the one about to happen!
It’s Sukkot time! The Jewish holiday of building temporary dwellings in our backyards or porches or apartment balconies so we can remember the time when we were traveling the desert […]
In rabbinic texts, Sukkot is chag, the holiday. In temple times, when a person said just chag there would be no question what they meant – as the culmination of the year’s intense beginning, Sukkot was the festival, the moment of release, the time of our greatest joy. We get ourselves outside our homes, outside our routines, outside our usual relationships, and in the liminal vulnerability of our sukkot, spaces that are not inside and not fully outdoors, we experience the pure joy of exposure in company. In temple times, that would have included the joy of the greatest national barbeque of all time.
This article is for you. The Jew who has never built a sukkah before, or vaguely remembers that the last time you helped to build a sukkah, you were four-years-old and your job was to hang streamers from the ceiling.
Like the house Anne Frank lived in when she and her family were in hiding from the Nazis, Sukkot is a secret holiday, translated literally, as booths. Sukkot is a pilgrim’s holiday, honoring those who wandered forty years in the desert and those who made arduous journeys to the holy temple of Jerusalem while living in temporary dwellings along the way. A symbol of life’s fragility, it is made of branches and beams with ample space for the intrusions of sun and rain.