The High Holy Days are behind us.
One common feeling at this point in the fall cycle of holidays is to be really sick of sitting in synagogue. Yep, me too.
The good news is that the next holiday isn’t primarily a synagogue holiday. Sukkot is celebrated in the YARD.
Or on the balcony.
Or on the roof.
You can celebrate Sukkot anywhere you can build a temporary shelter.
Or — to keep your first round of Sukkot very simple – anywhere you can put a few lawn chairs and a card table. Or a blanket on the grass.
Yes, it’s nice to have a sukkah. And if you have any connection at all to a Jewish organization, you can go sit in their sukkah, but if you want to get at the heart of the holiday, call up some friends and take them with you. Or go to the park.
This holiday is all about appreciating nature and the harvest. Yes, food. Eaten outdoors. With friends. Or strangers soon to be friends.
Maybe someone you met at synagogue, who could also use a little outdoors time now.
The beauty of Sukkot is that whether you live in an apartment or a mansion, you celebrate it in a temporary shelter outdoors. If you don’t have a yard, take a picnic to the park. If you don’t have a sukkah (yet) the lawn chairs I mentioned above are fine. Or a beach umbrella. Just grab your stuff, pack some food, call a friend, and GO. You’ll figure it out.
The heart of Sukkot is hospitality and enjoyment, and a recognition that most of the stuff we build in this world is temporary, anyhow.
Sukkot starts on the evening of Wednesday, Sept 18. But don’t stress – it goes on for a week. There will be time.
Sukkot is the kick-back Jewish holiday. We’ve mended our relationships, now we get to enjoy them. No hurry, no worry, just share some food and enjoy the season.
I’ll keep posting about the Jewishy stuff, the sukkah, the lulav, the history — that’s all interesting. But remember, the heart of this holiday is hospitality.
Prepare to enjoy yourself!