Beauty Contest in the IDF: 350 Sukkahs to Compete
The IDF pushes its soldiers to do the best they can – including on Sukkot, when soldiers will be encouraged to build the best possible sukkah. To add some fun to the occasion, the sukkah-building will be made into a competition, with an award to the best sukkah in the military.
The sukkot (the Hebrew plural form of sukkah, a temporary dwelling) will be judged according to several parameters, including their location, accessibility, appearance, size, and their adherence to the highest standards of Jewish law (halakha).
The competition will be held in two stages: first, each of the roughly 350 sukkot will compete against others built by units in the same IDF regional command. The seven winners will then compete against each other in the final round.
Sukkah-building in the IDF requires a combined effort from soldiers in various brigades. The commander of the base or unit is responsible for actual construction of the sukkah, while the IDF Rabbinate’s soldiers ensure that the sukkah is built according to halacha. Soldiers from the Education Corps complete the picture by providing decoration.
The sukkah is a temporary structure in which Jews eat and sleep during the Sukkot holiday. It serves as a reminder of the temporary dwellings in which the Israelites dwelt in the desert and the Tabernacle (Ohel Moed, temporary holy place) in which the Holy Ark was kept during that desert sojourn. It also is a reminder of the heavenly clouds that protected the Jews during their travels towards Israel.