“Awe and Adornment for Life Everlasting
Brilliance and Blessing for Life Everlasting
Council and Crown for Life Everlasting…
Sukkot is celebrated by the building of a Sukkah, a temporary structure or hut, with a roof made of branches, plentiful enough to provide shade during the day, sparse enough to see the stars at night. The Sukkah is meant to commemorate the impermanent shelters where farmers lived to be close to their crops during the harvest, and to recall the 40 year wanderings of the Israelites in Exodus; for the length of the holiday, meals are eaten in it, open to friends, strangers, passers-by. The holiday recalls temporality, provisionality, harvest, ritual.
“I love the the mitzvah of the succah, for a man can enter it with his whole body— even with the mud adhering to the soles of his boots!” *
Act of rain, act of landlord, two Acts of G-d or godlike acts brought our sukkah from a roof to an installation within the domestic interior. The move is on one hand, treyf, on the other, true to the unsettled, make-do essence of the holiday. It is particularly fitting within the context of, say, contemporary urban conditions. Old friends, new friends, and strangers were invited to participate. In a turn towards the carnivalesque, they were crammed into an 8x10 foot structure crammed into a 10x13 foot room in a Williamsburg, Brooklyn apartment. They decorated, ate, drank, heard the shofar horns, and blessed a sukkah open to the elements.
…eXtent and eXpression for Life Everlasting
Yielding and Yearning for Life Everlasting
Zenith and Zeal for Life Everlasting” **
*(the Ba’al Shem Tov, 1698-1760 CE)
**(acrostic hymn, Hekhalot Rabbati, 200-300 CE)