If you’re not familiar with the Jewish festival of Sukkot you may have looked curiously upon the many huts, or Sukkahs, protruding oddly from the side and back lots and balconies of homes throughout Cote Saint-Luc over the last week or so.  Of course, there’s nothing odd in a tradition that has lasted for two millennia (although only the last five decades in Cote Saint-Luc!).

In this shot, Mackle Road resident Maya holds up the Lulav and Etrog in front of her Sukkah. Maya and her family will eat several meals in their Sukkah and invite guests and neighbours to join in the tradition that has transcended the ages.

For forty years, as our ancestors traversed the Sinai Desert prior to their entry into the Holy Land, miraculous “clouds of glory” surrounded and hovered over them, shielding them from the dangers and discomforts of the desert. Ever since, we remember G‑d’s kindness and reaffirm our trust in His providence by dwelling in a sukkah – a hut of temporary construction with a roof covering of branches – for the duration of the autumn Sukkot festival. For seven days and nights, we eat all our meals in the sukkah – reciting a special blessing – and otherwise regard it as our home.

Sukkot is also called “The Time of Our Joy” (Zman Simchateinu) – a special joy pervades the festival. Celebrations and festivities fill the synagogues and streets with song, music, and dance until the wee hours of the morning.

It is customary at this special time of the New Year to wish one another a Chag Sameach (in Hebrew), a Gut Yontif  (in Yiddish). May we all (and I mean everyone) be inscribed for a year of happiness, good health, prosperity and peace.

 

More: Celebrating the “Time of Our Joy” in Cote Saint-Luc