Monday, October 17, 2011

In air, land and sea: Portable sukkot 

Chabad youth have installed traditional temporary huts on dozens of off-road vehicles which will travel across Israel throughout the holiday of Sukkot and serve hikers and IDF soldiers in places where there are no permanent sukkot.

Some 50 vehicles have been rented by the Hasidic movement for the holiday operation. The cars will also carry decorations, sets of the Four Species, pamphlets with information on the holiday and a sound system for Hasidic music.

The s'cach, which covers the sukkah, will be kept folded throughout the journey so that it doesn't blow in the wind, and will be taken out on every stop.

n addition, as it does every year, the organization is setting up many 'Fellowship Sukkot" in city center, hospitals, absorption centers and even prisons, in order to allow everyone interested in observing the holiday mitzvoth to do so.

Around the world in a temporary flat

And what is happening around the world? The Chabad House in Venice has set up a sukkah on a boat sailing in a local canal, between hundreds of gondolas, in order to help Jewish tourists observe the mitzvah.

In Nepal a sukkah has been built on a rickshaw, in New York dozens of Chabad sukkot have been placed in strategic sites, including Wall Street and opposite the United Nations building.

In Paris you'll find a temporary hut at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, in Strasbourg – outside the European Parliament building, and in Nepal – in the Thamel tourist district.

"The sukkah and Four Species mitzvot are important commandments, which are especially relevant these days," explains Chabad Youth Chairman Rabbi Yosef Aharonov.

"Israel's split society, which is crying out for social justice and equality between all citizens, can learn a thing or two from this week in which we all live in a temporary flat and prove that the etrog (citron) is as important as the aravah (willow branch)."

"In order to reach as many people as possible with these messages, we are using jeeps and off-road vehicles which will allow us to reach places where setting up a permanent sukkah is impossible."


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