Sukkot is here! I am truly fascinated with this holiday. Six years ago I lived in Boro Park, Brooklyn. Boro Park for those readers outside of New York City is a neighborhood in Brooklyn where the majority of the Ultra Orthodox Jewish population is centered. It is truly a unique neighborhood to say the very least. At that point in time I was still just a lapsed Mormon who needed a cheap room to rent and virtually knew nothing about Judaism. With this in mind, l remember seeing these little plywood houses erected outside Hasidic family homes and feeling puzzled. Beekeeping? Outdoor showers? Goyim housing? I had not an iota of a clue as to what a sukkah was. Fast forward to this evening and you can find me having dinner in such a hut on the Upper East Side.
Monday night I was invited to a sushi & beer Sukkot text study hosted by the Upper West Side Chabad. As much as I love Chabad events, I find myself feeling discriminated against somehow. This time it was by a group of much younger orthodox women. I feel like I am a bold, intelligent, friendly person but they collectively sucked the positive energy out of the room leaving me feeling very insecure… I digress, I ended up studying text with an inviting group of men & women (who were not a-holes). We discussed the principles of sukkah “ownership”. Very nitty gritty but interesting! I learned that one needs to own a lulav but one can own, borrow or steal a sukkah.