and neither was our sukkah!
Sukkot is my most favorite holiday of the year! When my wife and I first purchased our sukkah many years ago, I was amazed at how long it took me to put it up the first time (yes, I admit that I am not the most handy of individuals!). Over the next few years, I was able to put it up faster and more efficiently. Then something truly amazing happened--putting the sukkah up starting taking me even more time, but I could not be more thrilled with the reasons why this happened.
How excited I was the very first time when my oldest was only 3 and she came outside first thing in the morning ready to build! Needless to say, the time it would take to build was increased, but well worth it. What a highlight it was to see my daughter so excited about our sukkah and the chance to build with her Abba! The excitement was contagious and with each year, her level of participation increased and my other children were also eager to join in.
Fast forward a few years...not only did we begin planning our Sukkah weeks before Rosh Hashanah, my three kids couldn't wait to build together this year. A task that I originally did alone to fulfill the mitzvah of dwelling in the sukkah has now turned in to a family affair that does not only fulfill the mitzvah, but is a fine example of hiddur mitzvah, of enhancing the mitzvah, as we build and decorate our family sukkah. Most importantly, we are doing it together.
It is a day and a half before the start of the holiday and the sukkah is not yet finished, however, I have no worries that it will be ready in time for dinner Wednesday night as we begin to celebrate the week with family and friends as we have done for many years. However, sitting in our sukkah this year will have a whole new level of meaning, as it has now become our family sukkah, one that we share together with pride in our work together of building and decorating.
And I, as a parent couldn't be more proud as my kids' excitement for living Jewishly continues to grow.
I wish you all Hag Sameah and a joyful Sukkot!
Marc Medwed, Head of School