It’s a busy week as we look forward for Sukkot to begin this Friday night with Shabbat. Everyone during this time scrambles to build their sukkah, including us. My boys build it…hopefully it won’t fall down on our heads! This is the one of our favorite holidays. We get an extra room! Also, we spend lots of time together in that outdoor room, playing games, eating, cooking… we even sleep there.
Here, Sukkot is part of the the fabric of society. For instance, if you look to buy real estate, many apartments have a “sukkot-ready balcony.” Although it lasts only 7 days, people do plan their homes around this time. Everyone’s home has a sukkah. In the cities they are in the parking lots and balconies; in the yishuvim they are on porches and on the sides of homes. All of Israel suddenly has these little huts! We don’t have enough portable beds so we use an old couch, a wooden bench, and we even line up chairs. We rough it.
The first night normally has groups of children going from sukkah to sukkah all night long, kind of similar to the Halloween trick-or-treating custom I grew up with. Each sukkah has candy or cakes, and the children try to visit as many sukkot as they can. But, unlike Halloween, when visiting each sukkah, the children stay and listen to a torah lesson, or sing a song with the host family. It is a beautiful tradition.
Sadly, there are always medical incidents that occur during the holidays, and Sukkot is no different. Our medics are on call as always. Yesterday we received a request for 15 additional Basic Medic Kits for our medics in the Shomron and Benyamin regions. Cost is $1200 per bag. This state-of-the-art kit contains all that is needed in a medical emergency, including an oxygen tank, burn care kit, bandaging kit and much more. The items are set together in a portable carrying pack enabling full mobility for use in any medical emergency. Please consider donating a medic kit in honor of a family member. What a beautiful gesture for the new year. www.hatzalah.org.il/donate