Something Above

Sukkot is my single favorite Jewish holiday. However, I feel bad for Sukkot. Just days after Yom Kippur, many may feel “all holiday-ed out.” I get it.

Sukkot literally means “booths” and it is a reference to how the biblical Israelites travelled in the desert when they left Egypt as slaves.

Shocking as this may be, in rabbinic tradition there is disagreement as to what the “sukkot” actually were. One opinion was that they were temporary huts or booths like we use today. But that is not the only opinion.

Another rabbinic opinion is that the sukkot were the clouds which floated in the sky above the Israelites as they crossed the desert. These clouds were to “protect” the Israelites in their travels.

I don’t know which opinion is correct… I wasn’t there. But there is one related law to the construction of sukkot that I really like: the top.

One can build the walls of a sukkah out of almost any material. But the top of a sukkah must be made of a natural material that is porous. In fact, the rule of thumb is that, at night, with all the lights off, if one were in a sukkah and looked up, they must be able to see the stars.

Put differently, we must be able to look up towards the heavens, we must be able to connect with what is above us. I like that. I hope you do too. It reminds us that no matter who we are, there is something above, and that we are all connected.

Chag Sameach to all.


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