Download Now »

Sukkah Essays

In the Sukkah There are No Strangers
Have you ever experienced a spontaneous bond with a perfect stranger? Happily, it is not only disaster that brings out our common spark, but also joy.
The Temporary Dwelling
Are we transient beings for whom movement is life and "at rest" an inscription for the gravestone? Are we rooted souls, for whom the "journeys" of life are just so many guises of the singular quest for home?
The Sukkah Is Now
Making the temporal timeless and the transient eternal
The sukkah, when done by the book, is incongruence itself: Live in a temporary structure as though it were permanent. What other structure does that remind you of?
The Big Sukkah
For a thing to be the thing it is, it cannot be too small, and it cannot be too big. There is one exception, however: the sukkah
7 of the World's Most Interesting Sukkahs
A Photo Essay
A photo essay including a boat sukkah and a sukkah in Saddam Hussein’s palace!
Say No to Drugs
And All Other Artificially Induced Highs...
There is escapist happiness. There is true happiness. And then there is ultimate happiness. The sukkah is symbolic of this highest form of joy.
Holy Hut
Why do we celebrate Sukkot immediately after the High Holidays?
A Houseplant Named Ned
I think I am going to buy a houseplant and name it Ned. I realized I needed a houseplant after my internet stopped working a few hours ago, and there was nobody around to talk to. Mostly I will talk to Ned about the word "in."
Boxed In Mitzvah
G-d is keyed into our trendy lifestyles. In an effort to provide mitzvahs that accommodate our modern angular leanings he provided the mitzvah of sukkot.
The Multiculturalism Debate
Does Jewish unity allow for diversity? The pros and cons of multiculturalism are reflected in the two primary mitzvot of Sukkot—taking the Four Kinds and dwelling in the sukkah.
Getting Beyond Our Comfort Zones
Judaism is forward thinking, eager to embrace innovation and fresh perspective. So why are we abandoning our homes and living in thatched huts, as we did 3400 years ago?
I'm Not Homeless
Normally, we are connected to a particular mitzvah—and through the mitzvah, to the One who commanded the mitzvah—only as long as we are actually involved in its execution. Sukkah is an exception.
A Sukkah to Survive
Be it due to pogroms, expulsions, or an innate itch for change, we've crisscrossed the globe numerous times throughout history. This may explain why the sukkah so resonates with us...
Experiencing G-d in the Sukkah
Come the day after Sukkot, and our sukkah has yet to be taken down, it actually hurts me to look at it. Gone is its beauty, its vitality, its light. It does not have a hold on me, it does not beckon me...
Fair Weather Friends
Yes, crises seem to be at the center of our holiday experiences. Even in our personal lives, we may notice how emergencies give us a jarring wake-up call, prompting us to ask G‑d for assistance. But what about the other days?
United We Sit
At the core of Sukkot is the quest for oneness. Let's take a look...
Holistic Holiness
Why is the holiday named after the mitzvah of sukkah? Why was this mitzvah chosen to represent the inner message of the holiday—what of the holiday’s other mitzvot?
Sukkot: The Body's Yom Kippur
Though the body may have enjoyed Yom Kippur, it gets a bit envious. "Can I have a day like that," it asks, "when I can indulge in my relationship with G‑d?"
Dwelling in a Changing World
Let's Rejoice!
Living somewhere for a week, even dwelling somewhere, is almost like staying at a beach house, a hotel, or a relative's place for a week. There is hardly time to unpack...
The Easy Mitzvah
Dwelling in the sukkah for seven days is a beautiful and inspiring experience; however, one would hardly describe it as “easy.” Yet this is the mitzvah singled out by the Talmud as G-d’s “easy mitzvah”!
Temporary Supermom
The Meaning of Sukkot
Why would I be so quick to want to take care of Zoe, a little girl I don’t know and will most likely never see again, when I didn’t seem to have that kind of time, patience, or ability for my own baby?
The Sukkah Paradox
The dwelling is simple, but the mitzvah is beautified.
Letting Go of the Roof
The Kabbalah of Sukkot
Unlike our everyday environment, the sukkah doesn’t tell us any lies. It reflects reality as it actually is: fluid, unpredictable and always new.
Unity in Three Dimensions
Sukkot is the festival that celebrates Jewish unity. Unity is the underlying theme of the festival’s three precepts: joy, the taking of the Four Kinds, and dwelling in the sukkah.
At Home With G-d
G-dliness is present not merely in the synagogue or in the house of study, but in every dimension and corner of our lives. This concept is made tangible by the mitzvah of dwelling in a sukkah..
The Perfect Quarrel
The Three Festivals: One Big Fight
The relationship, from its very inception, has been plagued by a quarrel between the spouses. As is common with many couples, they find themselves continuously and constantly arguing the same argument.
It is not enough that sechach contains nothing disqualifying; there must be positive qualifying conditions. This principle also applies to individual spiritual service . . .
The word “Ramses” means that the evil has already melted and become nullified, for the Jews had already left the limitations and boundaries of Egypt...
Being Happy About Our Happiness
Happiness isn’t about getting it right all the time, but about making the choice to try.
The Clouds of Glory: What Were They?
When our ancestors traveled in the desert, they were surrounded by a layer of miraculous cloud, which protected, pampered, and provided for them.
Twelve Paths to Worry-Free Life
Sukkot Meditations for the Ultimate Tranquility
Flying Rocks, Palm Fronds, and the Soul of Sukkot
What’s with the Jews and their stubborn insistence on living in a world of superstitions and anachronisms?
Take the Sukkah Quiz
Take this quiz to see how much you know about the shelter in which Jews dwell during the holiday of Sukkot (“shelters”)
Related Topics
Kids Zone
Find Services
Audio Classes
This page in other languages