Are You Reading This in Your Sukkah?
Why do we build the sukkah? To be reminded of our ancestors' lives in the desert, when they lived in huts made from branches and leather.
It is also a reminder of our farming ancestors, who harvested at this time of year. They built huts in the middle of their fields so that they would not have to go back and forth from their houses to their fields during the harvest. Houses and fields were far from each other, and the farmers had to make sure they got the harvest in before the rain fell. Jews also built huts to live in when they made the long pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When you build your sukkah, when you eat in it and sleep in it, invite all the memories of your ancient ancestors in to eat and sleep with you. Watch them cutting the wheat; smell the olive oil they are pressing; feel the grapes underfoot as you and they tread on them to make wine.
Decorating Your Sukkah
String decorations for the harvest festival:
Create "food chains" to be hung from one corner of the sukkah to the other. They can be made from many different types of foods and natural materials, as long as they will stay fresh throughout all eight days of the holiday. Here are some suggested decorations:
Crabapples, cranberries, cornstalks, evergreens, gourds, peppers, popcorn, pine cones, onions, small eggplants and wildflowers.