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Monday, October 17, 2011

Ray Cook's Tales Of Succot--True Tales About The Sukkah

From Ray Cook's blog: Tales of Succot
*Readers’ warning: some of these tales have been ever so slightly embellished for comic effect.

Well, this is a first for me: blogging from my succah.

Succot is just about my favourite festival. To any outsider the rituals of Succot (or Succos if you like) seem strange to say the least and give rise to many an amusing incident.

If you are not familiar with the festival please see the information at the end of this blog.

Succahs take many shapes and forms. Ours, as you can see on the right, is made of a metal frame and canvas walls with the roof made from bamboo slats. Other building and roofing materials are available.

A succah is a temporary dwelling but some people have permanent structures which are used for other purposes during the rest of the year. One such structure is my rabbi’s garden shed:

The Tale of the Rabbi’s Succah
My rabbi’s succah is a converted garden shed which can seat a surprising number of people. The roof has been specially adapted so that, using a cantilevered pulley system, it splits in two like the Space Shuttle’s payload bay and is then tied down to reveal the ‘schach’, the roof covering, which is straw thatch but must be sufficiently ‘porous’ to allow starlight to penetrate.

Some years ago, with the succah roof fully opened to a clear autumnal sky, the rabbi’s doorbell rang.


On opening the front door both the bell-ringer and the rabbi were surprised. The bell-ringer was not expecting a tall dark figure with a flowing beard, and the rabbi was confronted by a complete stranger rather than the half-expected visitation of a member of his congregation.

“Good evening,” said the bell-ringer, unfazed, “can I have look through your telescope?”
Here is my own personal Sukkah story:
My sukkah story: about 7 years during Chol HaMoad my neighbor calls me to inform me that my sukkah had taken flight. When I came home, he had tied one end of the sukkah down--but the rest was in the air: my sukkah had become a box kite.

In the process, the sukkah hand put a dent both into my house and my neighbor's house as well. He is not Jewish, but Baruch HaShem is a very nice guy.

Ever since, part of my sukkah preparations including tying my sukkah down and putting a bag a gravel on all for sides of my sukkah to hold it down.
Do you have a sukkah story?

Continue reading Ray's Tales of Succot

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