Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Desperately Seeking Sukkahs




Although the temperature is balmy, and barely a leaf has turned, it really is time for the harvest festival of Sukkot. As a public service, Paul and his intern Lily have done some investigating of neighborhood sukkahs. Although we are closed Wednesday afternoon, Thursday, and Friday in observance of Sukkot, you may be nearby or when you return to work you, too, may be seeking a sukkah.

But first a word about the holiday. The word sukkot itself means “booths” and gives significance to the type of dwelling inhabited by the Jews wandering in the desert for 40 years. If you enjoyed sleeping in your backyard as a kid, think how nice it is to do it as an adult. While you can honor the holiday by eating meals in the sukkah, if you are so inclined and you are feeling spry, spend as much time as you can in it. The sukkah is decorated festively and has two halachic architectural demands: it must have at least 2.5 sides and a roof that provides more shade than sun in the day and a view of the stars at night. And just to make things really interesting, the roof must be constructed from materials that grew out of the ground, but are no longer attached to the ground. Last year, Reboot sponsored Sukkah City in Union Square Park, which called upon designers and architects to create sukkahs of drama and usability. Take a look.

Back to the present. Preliminary research indicates the following downtown possibilities:
1. Near the flagpole in Battery Park; historically the sukkah is set up by Chabad
2. On the roof of 160 Broadway, for the use of the Broadway Café customers
3. In front of Pita Express at 16 Ann Street (east of Broadway)
4. At the Wall Street Synagogue, 47 Beekman Place (near William Street)

Disclaimer: We list these sukkah sites as a public service, but we are not affiliated with any of them.

Chag Sameach

Photo: Sukkah at Foehrenwald DP camp, 1946. Gift of Evelyn Cohen.

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