Tradition tells us that the Gates of Repentance stay open until the end of Sukkot. The intensity of Yom Kippur has diminished, but we still remember the hours together, knocking on our hearts, trying to do spiritual CPR, to wake us up to the truth of our lives.
Howard Witkin sleeps only about three hours each night. He has a wife and four children, runs a life insurance company, is the lead organizer of the Los Angeles Community Eruv and has spent the last 14 months battling cancer.
Sukkot is a wonderful time of year to incorporate seasonal ingredients into your cooking. Beets, cabbage and squash are vegetables that are especially delicious at this time of year and work well in many recipes. Sukkot also reminds me of savory sweet and sour dishes that we ate in Eastern Europe, where I was raised.
I want to tell you about a man I’ll call Jack. Jack was a man who slept under the 405 underpass that I cross on my walk to synagogue every Shabbat. For a long time, I didn’t really see him. He was tucked away in the bushes next to the on-ramp. But that’s not what kept me from seeing him.
According to the rabbis, the holiday of Sukkot commemorates the 40 years of wandering in the Sinai Desert, and we eat and sleep in a sukkah — that temporary structure made with a roof of dried vegetation, such as palm fronds — because the Israelites slept in sukkot (the plural of sukkah) on their journeys.
Get your harvesting on in Malibu! The Shalom Institute is offering a day filled with organic gardening, ziplining, nature walks and music. Families can also indulge in arts and crafts and meet animals in the Pinat Chai Animal Center. Kosher lunch and snacks provided. Sun. 10 a.m. $10 (general), Free (Ages 6 and under). Shalom Institute, 34342 Mulholland Highway, Malibu. (818) 889-5500. shalominstitute.com.
I built my first sukkah three years ago. It was your typical sukkah in a kit — a metal pole and tarp structure, stark white and generic. As I decorated it, I realized that no matter how many plastic fruits and vegetables I hung from the sides and ceiling, they seemed to get lost in the space. The big white tarps were just too visually dominant.
When we talk about Jewish values, we usually refer to things like justice, compassion, generosity, humility, honesty, faith, wisdom and so on. We rarely talk about beauty.
On Sunday, my wife and I drove out to the Valley to buy a new sukkah. It was time. I’d bought our old sukkah from an Armenian Catholic who supplied booths to vendors in farmers’ markets. When his orders began to spike in September, he realized he could have a good little side business selling these things to Jews for their holiday of Sukkot. Only in America.
In open opposition to Kohelet (Ecclesiastes), which tells us on Sukkot “there is nothing new under the sun,” I decided to build a solar sukkah this fall. To energize my plan, I went to the 99 Cent Store to buy some solar yard lights to adapt for use on the roof.
Four Jewish institutions have teamed up to build a sukkah composed entirely of homeless signs. They are asking the public to purchase and donate the signs in time for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.
I started building my sukkah in December. To those of you who are sukkah DIYers, you know how ridiculous this sounds.
Bend the Arc is urging Jewish voters in California to rally behind Proposition 30.
France has seen a 45 percent increase in anti-Semitic attacks reported through August from the corresponding period a year ago.
Five sukkot designed by Polish architects are being displayed in a public square in Warsaw.
Is it possible to be religiously not religious? That question came to me the other day when I asked a friend what his synagogue plans were for the coming Holy Days.
There’s a certain bittersweetness to the festival of Sukkot. On the one hand, it’s z’man simchateinu, the season of our rejoicing: In ancient Israel, it marked the end of the harvest season, the time when the storehouses were full of sustenance for the coming agricultural year, the time of thanksgiving. We celebrate that today with wonderful meals for friends and family in our own sukkahs — a time of warmth, conviviality, plenty.
The sukkah in the backyard of Leat Silvera’s home in the Beverlywood neighborhood of Los Angeles is up a little early this year. It’s not because she’s trying to get a jump on the holidays; it’s because she needs a place to look at her work — three large sukkah wall hangings that she designed herself.
As I stopped at the sukkah in the Occupy L.A. encampment outside City Hall, I thought of the Jews’ role in the upcoming presidential election, which will be taking place amid a recession and doubts about President Barack Obama’s attitude toward Israel.
As part of the Occupy Los Angeles movement, hundreds of Angelenos have been living in tents outside downtown’s City Hall for several weeks. On Oct. 16, Jewish groups rallied in a sukkah alongside these temporary shelters.
More than 20 countries are displaying their traditional sukkahs at a festival in Israel celebrating Jewish Diaspora communities.
Building as Sukkah is more involved than you think...
If I have one wish for Sukkot, my favorite Jewish holiday, it’s this: no more plastic fruit. Each year, Jewish people are commanded to fulfill the mitzvah of building a sukkah — a temporary shelter in which they eat (and sometimes sleep) throughout the weeklong holiday, which this year occurs from October 12 to 19.
Since the beginning of this month, a group of Angelenos has gathered near downtown’s City Hall as part of Occupy Los Angeles, its version of the much-publicized Occupy Wall Street — a protest movement calling for reforms to the U.S. political and economic systems.
Cold or hot, soup is ideal for the sukkah. What better way to warm up on a chilly night or cool off on a warm afternoon?
Thousands of palm fronds for Sukkot lulavs reportedly have been smuggled out of Egypt despite a ban on their export.
Each Sukkot we read in Kohelet, Ecclesiastes, that there “is a time to tear down, and a time to build up." For my sukkah it was time for both.
Sukkot is 'z'man simchatenu' -- our season of rejoicing. It is a time to celebrate, to enjoy meals with guests, to sing, to study and to appreciate life. It is a time 'le-shev ba-Sukkah,' to live life to its fullest -- in the sukkah.
After seven years of obsessing over security in the context of terrorism, we've all been blindsided by a more pervasive form of terror: sudden financial insecurity.
The arrest this week of a retired a New Jersey man on charges of transmitting classified information to Israel two decades ago shows how the Jonathan Pollard spy case continues to haunt the U.S.-Israel relationship.
This week, I will sit on my porch, gaze at the pergola and see in its place a bamboo mat. I will remind myself of the biblical commandment, "in a sukkah you shall sit seven days."
We were intent on doing what our Ashkenazi forebearers, who lived in inhospitably cold climates, could not do. We were intent on doing Sukkot the way the Talmud prescribes, meaning 24/7, including spending nights there.
Zimmerman's installation is one of three works from the Skirball's permanent collection on view in the exhibition "Artful Dwellings: Sukkot at the Skirball." The other two are by artists Sam Erenberg and Therman Statom.
Vast slums perch precariously in the hills overlooking Rio de Janeiro, each made up of thousands of sukkot -- flimsy shacks in which people live
Either you know what it is to sit outdoors under a sukkah on a cool autumn night, surrounded by family and friends, feasting on traditional Sukkot foods, laughing and singing as if it were summer camp all over, or you don't.
Sukkot ("tabernacles" or "booths" in English) is one of three major Jewish pilgrimage festivals (shalosh regalim) and begins at sundown on Sept. 26. The eight-day festival, which ends with Simchat Torah on Friday, Oct. 5, is celebrated in a variety of ways. Here is The Jewish Journal's guide to Sukkot around town.
Being a service member in Operation Iraqi Freedom, I also realized that life, like the sukkah, is temporary. One never knows how long one might live or when one might die.
One of the great rituals of Jewish life: The sukkah.
It's time for Jonah again. I cherish this prophet, whose Hebrew name, "Yonah" means "dove,"
The American Library Association got more than 400 requests to ban books last year. But most of those requests were unsuccessful, because of librarians, teachers, parents, students and other people who make sure books stay on shelves.
Four years ago, my wife told me not to build a sukkah. She had a good reason. In early September of 2001, Marsha was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer -- a tumor in each breast.
Every year, Scott Rekant of Monmouth Junction, N.J., hauls a tidy pile of 21 2-by-4s from his garage and puts together a sturdy sukkah that stands on his back porch.
After the high of the High Holidays, twice-a-year Jews hang up their kippot for another 354 days, or so, and in the process miss out on the lesser-known treat of Sukkot.
As I write this article, Hurricane Isabel has come and gone; its destructive force headlined the news, offering a strange but appropriate counterpoint to writing about children's books on Sukkot and Simchat Torah. In today's world, these holidays, following on the heels of Yom Kippur, remind us of the swift changes life brings and underscore the fragile nature of our security. Through stories, we can find shelter in the joy of offering hospitality, in helping others, in relishing happiness when we can and in acknowledging human courage and endurance in the face of trouble. These are all themes to explore as you sit, rejoicing with your children and guests, in your sukkah.
I have been thinking a lot about roots lately. About where I would like to settle with my daughter, buy a house, adopt a puppy. When we left our hometown of Atlanta eight years ago, I didn't know how long our adventure would last. I didn't know we would live in small, but charming apartments, first in calm, rainy Portland, then in frenetic, sunny Los Angeles. And that after a while, the temporary nature of our dwellings, and so much time spent far away from where we started, would pose a question of its own. Where do we belong?
It seems the core ritual of Sukkot, building the sukkah, has something to say about just that. According to tradition, this temporary, four-walled structure with a branch roof open to the sky is a reminder of the Israelites' huts in the deserts, as they wandered from place to place for 40 years. The sukkah also highlights one of the themes of the holiday -- the impermanence of our lives, says Michael Strassfeld in "The Jewish Holidays, A Guide & Commentary" (HarperResource, 1993).
No one -- neither Rabbi Paula Reimers nor board members who voted not to renew her contract -- believes that she was let go just because of the Israeli flag incident.
On Sukkot, we eat and sleep in a hut called a sukkah.
As a child, I loved the bunches of grapes that hung from the palm leaves covering the roof of the sukkah.
On Sukkot, the Torah commands us to live in booths for seven days.
"We don't do falafel or schwarma," said Avi Ben-Harouch while seated on a beige banquette in the elegant dining room of his new restaurant, Avi's Bistro in Agoura Hills.
Sukkot teaches us to view the world differently; it teaches us to value every waking moment of our lives.