Desperately Seeking Sukkot
Having written about the Frummies attempt to make Shavuot meaningful for the entire family this past Sivan, we are now faced with Sukkot.
Though there is a worship component to Sukkot, it is mostly a home-based holiday. In fact, as BossGiraffe is fond of saying, “you don’t really own this holiday until you’ve built your own sukkah.” And he’s right.
With PC in Easton, PA much of the time, my days and nights are full as I juggle family and congregational responsibilities. With familial obligations often taking a backseat. So…no sukkah this year. Which makes me sad…and leaves me feeling rather guilty that I am not living up to my own expectations as a Jewish mother.
The kids will not be going to school on Thursday. It is the first day of Sukkot and, as is written in the Good Book, “it shall be a day of complete rest for you.” Since they won’t be in school, I’ve set out to find an appropriate place for us to celebrate the first day of one of the major festivals on the Jewish calendar.
Nada. Nisht. Efes. Nothing.
That’s right. With Sukkot starting midweek, virtually every single Reform and Conservative shul (and many of the Othodox as well) is planning age-appropriate Sukkot activities this Sunday. But not actually on the first day. Day schools are all closed so it isn’t as if there aren’t any kids who will need to find where to be that day.
My guess, and please correct me if I am wrong, is that families who choose to keep their kids home or attend schools that will be closed, are not regarding shul as their primary avenue for Sukkot observance. Rather, I imagine that they will be visiting the sukkot of family and friends that day. Synagogues, therefore, have no reason to create programming for kids who won’t be in attendance.
Which leaves us without any plans. And gives me less than twenty-four hours to come up with meaningful ways for our family to observe the first, and sacred, day of Sukkot.
**this is NOT our sukkah. It IS available, however, from Sukkah Soul.