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Succoth. It’s Jewish holiday time again.

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THEME:   LIFE STYLE, NYC

By SisiBroad | October 8, 2014 12:45 pm

Alternate side parking (street cleaning) regulations is always to be suspended for Succoth. All other regulations, including parking meters, remain in effect.

Succoth. It’s Jewish holiday time again. Sukkot celebrates both the fall harvest and our deeper connection to nature. If you get an invite… go! This is one of their “fun” holidays.

It is a joyous season that symbolizes our people’s redemption and God’s protecting presence as they wandered through the wilderness. Sukkot is one of the most physically beautiful holidays because of the fragile sukkah (booth) that we decorate with symbols of the harvest, and the lulav and etrog which we shake as we pray for a good season of rain (even in Seattle).

Succoth. It’s Jewish holiday time again.

Succoth. It’s Jewish holiday time again.

It’s Jewish holiday time again. Sukkot celebrates both the fall harvest and our deeper connection to nature. If you get an invite… go! This is one of their “fun” holidays.

Jews across the borough were putting the finishing touches yesterday on their sukkahs – temporary outdoor dwellings – in preparation for the holiday of Succoth, which starts at sundown today. Succoth is a joyous nine-day celebration commemorating the time when Jews wandered through the desert for 40 years, living in makeshift shelters.

“The point is it’s supposed to be makeshift, it’s supposed to be temporary. It’s not supposed to be permanent,” said Dovid Steinberg, co-owner of the Esrog Warehouse on Jewel Ave. in Flushing, who reported brisk sales in sukkahs.

The festival of Succoth, which means booths or tabernacles, falls in the autumn, a time of harvest – and it is during this season of plenty when observant Jews leave their homes and dwell in makeshift booths to remember the temporary nature of the world and of man’s reliance on God, according to Manny Behar, executive director of the Queens Jewish Community Council.

“We leave the security of our homes and enter the fragile, tent-like abode to show that our protection, at all times, comes solely from the one above,” said Rabbi Moshe Turk, co-director of the Jewish Heritage Center of Queens and Long Island, an outreach organization in Kew Gardens Hills. “The Succoth celebration brings families together as they huddle for warmth and eat their meals under the stars.

You may be wondering, for example, if it’s permissible to build your sukkah, the structure used during the week-long holiday for dining, entertaining and sometimes sleeping, out of the carcass of a tethered elephant.

“A sukkah is a symbol of universal good will and good cheer,” said Rabbi Joshua Metzger, the religious leader of Chabad Lubavitch of Midtown Manhattan which has been erecting and running the structure for 13 years.

The hut, stained orange and adorned with flowers and bales of hay, took 18 hours to construct and cost more than $10,000, Rabbi Metzger said. It is open, he says, to people of all faiths to eat, sit, pray or just enjoy the shade of the fir branches strewn across its top.

During Sukkot, a week-long holiday, many observant Jews are especially keen on hospitality. To my friends keeping festival… sing and dance with joy (for Sukkot is a joyful time, even though it reflects on the serious side of life). Keep the faith…

Or you may be hoping that you can set it up on the back of a camel. In both cases, the Talmud tells us, the answer is yes — as long as the sukkah has three walls (some scholars say two and a half) and stands taller than 10 spans and shorter than 20 ells.

Once more in New York City ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING (street cleaning) regulations is always to be suspended for Succoth. Make sure that all other regulations, including parking meters, to be obeyed.

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