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-And he's taking the kids. No amount of begging helped. I am alone in the house, and the quiet is... well, actually, it's not THAT quiet. I hear giggling and my husband's low voice telling stories to my kids. You see, my husband left me - for the sukkah. I usually stick to sleeping in the house. I am too old for the 'outdoor adventure'. I've turned into an old fuddy-duddy, and hey, I earned it! Anyway, I peer down from my upstairs bedroom window which is right next to, and above, the sukkah that we built for the Sukkot holiday. If I look out my bedroom window, through the schach and palm branch roof of the sukkah, I can see slits of light from inside there shining through. I try to peer and see the kids inside, lying in sleeping bags near each other and having a blast with their dad!
Our sukkah (2007) . Notice the green grass and our back yard's rock wall with a small water fall in the back. Old torn couches were brought in against the temporary wooden wall of the sukkah. My kids placed their mattresses on the grass inside our sukkah, and the table and plastic chairs will be pushed towards the other wall to make room for a few more sleeping bags.
I wonder what G-d thinks as he looks from above and sees His nation, His people, sleeping in sukkot all over the Land of Israel. It must be a very beautiful site.
This is the time of year that Jews go out to the sukkah to 'dwell'. Many men and children sleep there as well, and sometimes us mothers do too. My kids were ecstatic when I slept out there with them last year. I decided to stop being a fuddy-duddy wimp and brave the mosquitos, but this year, there aren't so many of those pesty bloodsuckers in our area, so yippee! However, I confess, my back likes my mattress and I appreciate having a nearby bathroom. And anyway, even ONE mosquito zzzzz-ing near my ear can drive me nuts. I've become soft in my old age (sigh).
Nevertheless, on Sukkot our sukkah at night turns into a 'wall to wall' sleep hall, with mattresses and old torn couches we use outside, on the grass. The kids think of it as an adventure. My husband is just a little less enthusiastic than the kids. He feels more spiritual sleeping under the stars. G-d bless that man!
One of the customs we do on the Sukkot holiday is to participate in a 'sukkah hop'. What is a sukkah hop you say? It is where all the neighbors get together and hop from sukkah to sukkah. Of course we don't really 'hop'. What we do is make a list of whose sukkah we are going to go to, and at what time, and then stroll from one sukkah to the next, oo-ing and ah-ing and admiring the different way children have decorated their family's sukkah. Everyone who hosts serves refreshments; coffee, tea or cold drinks, cakes, etc. and people can sit and say a bracha (a blessing) over these refreshments in the sukkah. Then, as guests are sitting and eating, the host of the sukkah gives a 'dvar Torah' or a talk on the Torah. Usually guests stay for about 15-20 minutes and then together move on to the next neighbor's sukkah and the next 'dvar Torah'. It is a lovely time and we all get to see the different sukkot and the different decorations the children made, etc.
So, in the spirit of the 'Festival of Booths', I thought I would host YOUR sukkah photos. Send me one photo of your sukkah and, blog room permitting, I will post them up here. I wish you all a happy and healthy new year, and a wonderful and warm Sukkot holiday!
First sukkah put up by new immigrants in Israel. Yeah! Submitted by M from Jerusalem.