Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Best Sukkah Ever !

I am recovering from surgery. I was released from hospital on Tuesday. On Wednesday several of my friends came over and together built me a Sukkah in our back yard.

I love the Sukkoth holiday, and I have built a Sukkah every year now since about 1974. I have built one of basically the same design ever since we moved into our current home in 1988. One of the vows I made to myself when we left Israel in that year, is that I would continue building a Sukkah in Galut just as I had in Israel.

For me Sukkot represents the following:
  • thanksgiving,
  • hope for the new year,
  • a commitment to social justice - and housing the needy in particular,
  • acknowledgment of the fundamental impermanence of life and of all reality,
  • acknowledgment that our material possessions - including our homes - are ours only by a great deal of luck/grace,
  • acknowledgment that home is both nowhere and everywhere,
  • a remembrance of our ancestors status as refugees and wanderers,
  • a tool for developing personal humility,
  • a reverence of and a back to nature holiday.

Sukkot in Canada - where it can snow and rain while you are trying to build, and enjoy your Sukkah - is also a symbol of the triumph of human spirit over the absurd, of meaning over chaos and of the possibility of ethics, culture, civilization over the impersonal forces of a dark and unmoved cosmos.

And the fact that while I was too ill to build my own Sukkah, that just when I thought my streak of Sukkahs was about to end, that just then, a Sukkah was miraculously built for me, just confirms much of the symbolism I find in the holiday. It is a great joy to me.

I declare: Sukkah, 2010, as the "Best Sukkah Ever!"

My wife who is less prone to the symbolic and the overtly spiritual than I, said the shehekhianu blessing as we ate our first family meal in the sukkah. She said, that for her this was the best Sukkoth ever. I think she was referring to my successfully getting through surgery - but sitting in the "miracle sukkah" might have also crossed her mind.

* * *

On a related note, you might wish to see the architecturally fantastic sukkoth produced by the Sukkah City competition in NYC. Each is more wondrous than the next. But none, I assure you, can beat the rickety contraption currently sitting in my backyard.

See the full article about Sukkah City at New York Magazine.


Anonymous Shmuel said...

Refuah shlemah, Syd. And hag sameah!

9:41 am  

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