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Thursday, 23 September 2010

If you are a regular reader, than you know that I was fretting earlier this week about the inability for me to get my act together and build a sukkah. What you may not know is that I received a VERY generous offer from a long-time friend in response to my angst.

Seriously…I am not working right now and I would be so delighted to get together with you and the kids and help you build one with PVC pipe. I’m kinda handy that way. You could probably do the whole project for under $50 including the silk plants and lattice for the roof. I might even have some plastic fruit somewhere. What do you think?

My initial inclination was to refuse this VERY generous offer. Her ability to just toss up a sukkah (and with something called PVC pipe) humbled me to the point that I couldn’t believe my own inadequacy.

Yet I knew that it would be wrong to allow my own insecurity to prevent another person from making it possible for my family to fulfill a mitzvah.

It turns out that the sukkah did not just get tossed up. It was an intense effort. And it bears little resemblance to our original plan. It’s short. It’s not Halakhic. And it is too fragile to support much decoration.

But it’s ours. And it was created out of love and friendship. It is beautiful. And it is perfect.

!חג סוכות שמח

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Thursday, 23 September 2010 11:12 pm

    Our first succah was done by a very close friend, Risa

    • Saturday, 25 September 2010 4:34 pm

      Haha, I only helped build it! (I’d forgotten)

      • Frume Sarah permalink*
        Sunday, 3 October 2010 9:51 am

        I love this. What seems like not a big deal can be so important to the recipient.

  2. Former Reform Jew permalink
    Friday, 24 September 2010 5:39 am

    Looks great! It might not be a halachic sukkah, but you and your friend still did the mitzvah of teaching your children about chag hasukkot.

    What can be done to encourage more Reform families to build their own sukkot at home? We never had one growing up, and sukkot was a holiday that I hardly experienced at all until I left the movement.

    • Friday, 24 September 2010 11:33 am

      Time may take care of that. As a 35 year old Reform Jew who has seen both mainstream reform and the older folks who grew up classical reform, I have seen that the movement is shifting towards more traditional Jewish expressions. As the younger people take their places in leadership, the days of the more classical (and less Jewish) expressions should fade. At least, that’s my hope. Otherwise, like you, I may have to leave the movement and find a more traditional expression.

      • Frume Sarah permalink*
        Sunday, 3 October 2010 9:54 am

        I also see the movement shifting towards innovation at the expense of tradition. Which may also lead me out of the movement.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 3 October 2010 9:53 am

      Our Reform household ALWAYS built a sukkah as did the other households in our family. We ate in it, slept in it, and entertained in it.

      As a rabbi, I talk it up…and we do have some who build them. I am brainstorming some ways to get even more folks to reclaim this AWESOME holiday!!!

  3. Shellie Halprin permalink
    Friday, 24 September 2010 10:35 am

    Big kiss! I had fun. My time with Beernut at Lowe’s was actually pretty priceless. He thanked me for taking him and he said that he was glad he didn’t bring his DS because we had more fun that way. 🙂

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 3 October 2010 9:54 am

      I am so glad. He always enjoys his time with you!!!

  4. Friday, 24 September 2010 11:34 am

    It’s a lovely sukkah. And, like Former reform said, you still fulfilled a mitzvah even if it’s not halakhic.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 3 October 2010 9:55 am


  5. Friday, 24 September 2010 12:44 pm

    hooray for all of you– i love the acts of love and friendship all the way around– it brings a tear to my eye. but i’m shmaltzy like that! 🙂

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 3 October 2010 9:55 am

      Me too 😉

  6. Friday, 24 September 2010 3:58 pm


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