Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sukkahs in the 'hood

At about 2:30pm last Friday we rolled up to Home Depot and asked an employee in the garden center if they had any bamboo rolls. "You know," he said shaking his head, "You're like the fifth person to ask me that today. We're all sold out." Of course they were. It was a few hours before the holiday of Sukkot was to begin and we, like other procrastinating Jews in Miami, were scrambling to put up our festive little huts before sundown, and there was no bamboo or canvas left anywhere. So we opted for shower curtains.
The result is actually ethereal and bright. Plus, our sukkah is mildew-resistant, how many people can say that? And at night, with the Polynesian torches going, it's even romantic.

Sukkot, a harvest holiday, is a great custom. It's a time to enjoy nature, to observe the changing seasons, and do a wacky thing - eating in a hut for 7 days is about as rugged as Judaism gets. Some hard-core Jews even sleep in their sukkah, a difficult feat when you consider that the climate up north is already inching towards the "freezing tushi" mark on the Jew-thermometer. The stores must have thought there was a tiki-hut building contest going on, which in a way, there was, as a quick survey of some sukkahs in our hood shows.

This is a classic bamboo-roll model. Simple design, easy to assemble. Adequate shade and sufficient tiki-hut ambience.

The view right through this sukkah to a yacht parked on the canal is quite striking. I am envious of this sukkah's roof frondage - they had some serious shade going on. The bug-screen frame limits privacy, but it's a good use of material.

Here's another classic style - the two-tone canvas nailed to a wooden frame. The combo of American/Israeli flags lends a political overtone to an otherwise pastoral ritual.

The gazebo-like style of this sukkah is charming. It's great how they were able to build it right by the water, making good use of water frontage.

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