Thursday, October 06, 2011

A little bit of Sukkah

Ah, fall. It has {finally} arrived here on the Gulf Coast. Maybe it doesn't look like fall to some of you, but we're only in the mid-to-upper 80's and the mornings hover around 70 degrees or so. That's positively chilly to us southern folk after a summer of 100 degree days.

And, I must say, fall got here just in time for the High Holidays and Sukkot, which is what I really think of when I think of fall, even when I don't celebrate. In Judaism, this is a holy, holy time. We've just passed Rosh Hashanah {New Year} and are in the Days of Awe leading up to Yom Kippur. It is said that God opens the Book of Life on Rosh Hashanah and closes it on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. So, as you can imagine, this is a time of recounting the past year, focusing on improvement, focusing on making sure you've righted your wrongs towards your fellow human beings before Yom Kippur.

I'll post more about this holiday on Saturday, but given Gussy's prompt of "fall" for the inspiration workshop, I want to focus on the holiday that happens next week, after Yom Kippur: Sukkot. Sukkot just *screams* fall! It's all about harvest, and being outside, and celebrating the earth and the bounty that she brings forth.

In Biblical times the harvest was so time consuming that farmers built shelters outside the city walls so that they could be closer to their crops. So, to celebrate, Jews all over the world will build Sukkahs, or four-walled, temporary structures decorated with fruits and vegetables and spend as much time in them as possible {hello picnics and backyard camping}!

Here are a few of my favorite sukkahs from the internet {sadly, I don't have pictures of any from when I was a member of a synagogue or a Hillel member. These are the perfect places to eat roasted fall squash, drink Salted Caramel Mochas, and gaze at the stars.

{Source: Sukkah Soul via Pinterest}

{Source: Modern Tribe via Pinterest}

{Source: via Pinterest}

{Source: E-teacher Hebrew via Pinterest}

The last one is perhaps my very favorite one. It is a Samaritan sukkah. Did you even know there were still Samaritans? There are, about 700 of them, and they live just outside Jerusalem. I've been learning about them since I went to Israel, but it is a fascinating history. As the story goes, Samaritans did not want to be conspicuous about their sukkahs due to fear of persecution, so they built these ornate ones inside. How beautiful! And isn't it just a wonderful reminder of fall?

Traditionally, Sukkot is also celebrated by waiving lulav and etrog, which I will post more about next week.

{Source: Manischewitz}
How do you think of fall? Do you celebrate?

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

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