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Sep 17 2013

Why My Family Builds a Sukkah

By at 10:01 am

sukkahDuring Yom Kippur, like many of you, I sat and stood for hours in synagogue, the change in posture serving as punctuation for my thoughts. As the sun crossed the sky, I thought about the person I had been for the past year, and was upset by all the ways in which I’d come up woefully short.

Over the course of Yom Kippur, the machzor guides us through feelings of awe and wonder, humility and agency, grief and hope. In contrast to God’s strength and power, we are, in the words of the Unetaneh Tokef, “a broken shard, grass that withers, a fading flower, a passing shade, a dissipating cloud, a blowing wind, flying dust, and a dream that vanishes.” Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 16 2013

How I Became a Sukkot Evangelist (And You Can, Too!)

By at 5:02 pm

sukkahI have unexpectedly become an evangelist for Sukkot. Though like any born-again-anything, I wasn’t always such a fanatic for this particular holiday.

Once upon a time I saw Sukkot as an event that only took place as part of a religious school’s curriculum. Along with the other students who came to Hebrew school three times a week, I’d help decorate the synagogue’s sukkah, stringing wire through bizarre looking gourds on the temple’s enormous property overlooking Lake Michigan. The next Sunday morning we’d have apple cider and cinnamon-sugar doughnuts in the sukkah instead of the regular slice of challah and grape juice in the classroom. We’d take turns shaking the lulav and smelling the etrog. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 4 2012

Your Sukkahs Are The Best!

By at 11:20 am

Yesterday we asked you to send us photos of your family’s sukkah. We were going to pick one or two of our favorites, but all of them were so beautiful we had to share more than just one!

Vermont sukkah

Via Debora Steinerman in Vermont

This porch-top sukkah’s mountainous backdrop is making us jealous!

Sukkah in New York City

Via Alessandra Rovati

This is the inside of Shearith Israel’s sukkah. You would never guess that this sukkah sits on New York City’s Upper West Side.

homemade lego sukkah

Via Rabbi Mark Fishman

These photos were sent to us from up north in Canada. How long do you think it took to build one of these sukkahs?

tiny apartment sukkah

Via Debi Cohen

Finally, we absolutely adore this tiny sukkah, squished onto a New York City balcony.

We can’t pick a favorite sukkah but maybe you can, tell us what your favorite one is!

And, if you haven’t had your fill of sukkahs yet, check out our collection of some of our favorites from the web.

Sep 30 2012

Why This Secular-Raised Jew Loves Sukkot

By at 3:58 pm

sukkah decoration pomegranate

Our sukkah is up, and I am thrilled.

This is our first sukkah as a family, and my first sukkah ever.

I love pretty much all of the Jewish holidays, except maybe Tisha B’av, which has been known to fall on my birthday. (I don’t think you’re supposed to love that one anyway.) But Sukkot might be my favorite, for so many reasons.

Sukkot happens in the fall, and autumn in New England is nothing short of spectacular. The air is fresh and cool, a welcome change from the oppressive heat of summer. Our local farm stand has dozens of varieties of crisp, delicious apples, and the leaves in our neighborhood are varying shades of green, yellow, and red. It’s the perfect time to be outside. Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 28 2012

Have a Great Sukkot–See You Wednesday

By at 4:25 pm
hello kitty sukkah

Hello Kitty inspired sukkah created by 5-year-old Ezra.

Get your sukkah shoes on–Sukkot starts this Sunday at sundown, and that means it’s time to hang in the sukkah, shake those lulavs and etrogs, and enjoy the outdoors for an entire week.

We’ll be off Monday and Tuesday, but if you’re looking for some last minute Sukkot ideas, be sure to check out how to build your own sukkah, what to decorate it with, and what to eat once you’re safely nestled inside. And what’s that? You want your kids to be entertained? Lucky you, we can help with that too.

We’ll be back on Wednesday, when the Sukkot festivities will still be going strong (it is a week-long festival, afterall). Chag sameach!

Free Stuff Alert: The At Home Gourmet Kosher Cookbook

By at 3:18 pm

the at home gourmet sarah lasry cookbookYom Kippur is said and done, so we won’t be fasting anytime soon. That means it’s time to talk about FOOD. The At Home Gourmet is a phenomenal kosher cookbook by Sarah M. Lasry and we’ve got a copy to giveaway to one lucky Kveller reader.

If you’d like a sneak preview of just what kind of recipe you can find in The At Home Gourmet, Sarah was kind enough to share one of her classic Sukkot recipes, which you can find below.

As for entering the contest…

Sign up for Kveller’s e-newsletter by clicking here, and then drop us a note in the comments below. If you’re already signed up, just skip ahead to the comment part. We’ll choose a winner next Friday, October 5th. Read the rest of this entry →

Sukkah Extravaganza

By at 12:18 pm

Sunday night marks the beginning of Sukkot! To get into the right mindset and find some inspiration for your own sukkah, here are some of our favorite designs.

Sukkah photo courtesy of Jeremy Price (flickrcc/forestfortrees)

Design options are endless. Whether you prefer a more natural or colorful theme, there are decorations available and creatable to suit your needs. Read the rest of this entry →

Why Sukkot is Awesome

By at 10:24 am
little girl playing in fall leaves

via Flickr/sugarfrizz

Sukkot, one of the three great pilgrimage festivals of the Jewish year, begins this Sunday evening. But poor Sukkot… she often gets lost in the great High Holiday shuffle.

For many of us, the whirlwind of Jewish holidays has wound down. We’ve stuffed ourselves silly with bagels and kugel at the break-fast. We’ve eaten our share of apples and honey, we’ve heeded the call of the shofar and tried to think about ways in which we’ll make 5773 better than 5772, and, if you’re anything like me, we’ve lost sleep shuffling our young children between grandparents’ homes, sleeping in different beds, coming back to our apartments in the city smelling like chicken, only to turn around and realize another holiday is upon us. Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 27 2012

How to Build Your Own Sukkah

By at 8:03 pm

building a sukkahGot some free time this weekend? Hows about building your own sukkah? Sure, it’s a bit labor intensive, but you will definitely feel accomplished and then you get to enjoy your creation for all of Sukkot, which begins this Sunday at sundown and lasts for an entire week. Plus, once you’ve done all the hard work, your kids can help with the decorations.

To learn how to build your own sukkah, including all of the detailed requirements set forth to us by our handy ancestors, click here. And once you’re ready to decorate, try making these recycled paper chains or take the short cut and buy some of our favorite sukkah decorations from Modern Tribe.

Last Minute Goodies for Sukkot

By at 1:53 pm

So, the High Holidays happened and that kept us super busy here at Kveller. So busy that we kind of forgot that Sukkot was sneaking up just around the bend. We know this is last minute, since Sukkot starts this Sunday, September 30th at sundown, but if you need to stock up on some last minute Sukkot supplies, here are some of our favorite products. They’re all from our partner Modern Tribe, so remember, part of every purchase goes to support Kveller–you can think of it as a little Sukkot tzedakah.

These Star of David lanterns come in an array of colors and look pretty with or without an electric lamps inside. They’ll bring just enough light into your sukkah and can be used again and again!

This mobile allows you to mesh colorful autumn leaves with photographs of your family. It’s the perfect semi-homemade sukkah centerpiece. Read the rest of this entry →

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