November 29, 2023
November 29, 2023

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

A Temporary Structure, With Memories to Last a Lifetime

After a year much more isolated, thank God, we’re back to and prepping our beautiful sukkot, readying ourselves to enjoy sukkah hopping, ushpizin, posters of the Kotel and putting up our own personal art galleries made by generations of children. We’re ready to hear our childrens’ and grandchildrens’ gasps at the strings of lights that turn the sukkah into a magical place after the sun sets.

Steamy soups and stews, and pumpkin and honey cake from recipes handed down like precious family heirlooms, are warm enough to steam up our glasses and fill our stomachs.

Zemirot will come not only from our sukkah but from sukkahs next door, down the block or around the corner, reminding us just how we fill the early autumn air with simcha.

In some cases, family members point out a decoration that has its own Sukkot story of joy—or even, as our history painfully reminds us, of survival.

Though it’s structurally sound, we feel a slight wind come through the sukkah. We know that like our own lives, the sukkah has its own fragility. We miss the family members who are no longer with us, while welcoming new ones, Baruch Hashem. We know our lives lie in Hashem’s hands, fragile like the walls of a sukkah. Yet we celebrate.

The consistency of families and friends getting together to share meals and enjoy each other’s company is the metaphoric heartbeat of this wonderfully, uniquely Jewish holiday. And it’s sweeter this year because of all that came before.

And every year, when we pull the sukkah from its storage space and try to remember which corner is aligned with the house or deck gate, we promise this year we’ll take a picture to remind us for next year.

Across the backyards we hear the banging of hammers, the whirring of drills and sometimes the gleeful laugh of little children, who are putting sticky tape on their artwork or string around a lulav and etrog made from construction paper.

There’s just so much beauty that fills our senses during this Z’man Simchateinu, this season of our joy.

We hope and pray that The Jewish Link pages this week reflect our community’s love of this wonderful time of year.

To our advertisers, contributors and readers, we wish you all a happy, fulfilling Sukkot. May we all be filled with beautiful memories.

Chag sameach!

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