Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sukkot, so what?

We find ourselves smack in the middle of Sukkot (literally, booths), a holiday that finds religious Jews, and those with a bit of spare time on their hands, building temporary structures outside their houses. So, basically, as the weather gets colder, we get commanded to build huts outside, and take all of our meals (and even sleep) out there. Gee, what's the catch?

The truth, though, is that Sukkot is about stepping away from the material, or at least the illusion of material permanence, and getting closer to nature and to one another. A big mitzvah over Sukkot is to invite people into your Sukkah as a guest and to extend them the highest level of hospitality, a practice known as Ushpizin (the Aramaic word for 'guests').

For a lot of us, who feel like nomads living in temporary structures as it is, the physical idea of a Sukkah may not be something we feel compelled to pursue (check out how stringent some are in their construction), but the opportunity to spend quality face time with close friends, and those with whom we would like to grow closer, is appealing.

I checked to see what was out there, and it turns out that Bais Abe, on Delmar, is hosting a dinner tonight at their Sukkah, from 5:30-9. If you've never seen a Sukkah, or want to take the opportunity to meet some new people, drop by and, so long as this pesky swine flu is receding, I'll see you there.

Chag Sameach.

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