Now that the High Holidays are over, Jewish families celebrate a fun holiday called Sukkot! This year the holiday starts on Friday, October 2 through Friday, October 9, 2020
Sukkot means ‘huts’ (singular is a Sukkah), and on Sukkot, Jewish families eat and spend time in the Sukkah, a hut-like structure that Jews build themselves. There’s lots of food and fun, and Jews like to eat all their meals in a little hut that they build.
The message behind this holiday is that the Sukkah is not a sturdy or permanent structure. So, sitting in this temporary structure, Jews are reminded of a very important lesson: No matter where we are, we are never alone.
On Sukkot, one of the very special customs is that Jews have a daily special service using four different types of plants – the ‘Lulav’ (palm branch), ‘Etrog’(Citron), the ‘Hadas’ (myrtle) and the ‘Arava’(willow).
They gather these plants together, holding them in their hands, and make a blessing. Each of these plants represents a different type of personality. So, when you gather them together, it’s like having four different types of people, some very nice and smart and some very simple. This teaches Jews of the need for togetherness. No matter what our talents, this ceremony reminds Jews that they are one people.
Learn more about the Lulav and Etrog.
Some families have a Sukkah at their home, and spend as much time as possible together in the Sukkah, beyond the meals. There are even some who bring the lawn furniture inside the Sukkah for comfort and lounging together.
Sukkot is another holiday full of interesting and memorable rituals and traditions; a time for family and memories. With this in mind, it is worthwhile to think about how you want to bring the spirit and traditions of Sukkot to your family in order to create enjoyable, cherished memories of a tradition your children will want to continue.
Even if you don’t have a Sukkah at home, try to eat at least one meal in a Sukkah. Chabad's have Sukkah's that are open to all who would like a Sukkah experience, 24/7 throughout the week of Sukkot.
Learn more about the Sukkah.
|WAYS TO CELEBRATE WITH FAMILY & FRIENDS|
- Invite family and friends to join you in your Sukkah.
- Make the Sukkah a family and friends event. And it’s not just about eating. Plan for fun, games or just hanging out.
- Go visit a Sukkah together.
- Bring a special treat to eat in the Sukkah.
- Together with your child, bake cookies, make soup, candied apples, or something fun to eat in the Sukkah.
- Make up silly songs. Add your own lyrics to typical preschool songs, such as This is the way we eat in the sukkah, eat in the sukkah, sing in the sukkah, laugh in the sukkah, etc.
- Plan for the bees and other bugs. Since it is Fall and the Sukkah is outside, plan accordingly for bees and other bugs. If your child is allergic to bees, bring the appropriate Epi-Pen or the like. There are many ideas for eliminating or preventing the bees from bothering the Sukkah, some more eco-friendly than others.
- Include your child in building the Sukkah. If your family has your own Sukkah, as possible, include your child in building it. Get her a child sized tool belt and hammer. Allow her to bang something. And then compliment her on the great work. Of course, it will take longer to build because she is helping, but that is all part of creating family memories.
Learn more about Sukkot for kids.
|DECOR FOR THE SUKKAH|
- Some Sukkahs have decorations to make the Sukkah look extra beautiful and personal. Even if you will not be having a sukkah at your own home, you and your children can create decorations to brighten someone else’s Sukkah. You can bring them to a friend, to the synagogue or local Jewish institution that does have a Sukkah.
- Since Sukkot is during Fall when rain and wind is a real possibility, it is best to make decorations that can handle the weather. Almost any paper poster can be laminated to withstand the elements.
- If your family does have your own sukkah, create decorations that you can take out every year. Date them so you remember how old the children were when they made them.
- Take a picture of anything your child has made (and actually print it) and keep in the holiday keepsake box.
- Family mementos. Add new decorations that have meaning to your family, sort of like those charm bracelets. If you’ve been on a trip recently, hang up a souvenir, bring out old family treasures. These make great family conversations. (You can create a new family tradition of purchasing souvenirs from your travels and family trips to include in your Sukkah decorations.)
- Repurpose old CDs. Place 2 CDs back to back so that both sides are shiny and glisten in the sun. Decorate with craft glue and shiny gems or stickers. Tie together with ribbons, as a garland or hang from the roof of the Sukkah.
- Strawberry baskets. Weave plastic ribbon through a strawberry basket. Add plastic fruit or other trinkets.
- Suncatchers Pour lots of white glue into the flat caps of large cans—like coffee cans or Pringles cans. Your child can throw in some sequins, colorful translucent beads. Allow a few days to dry thoroughly. Poke a hole and attach a string. Attach to the Sukkah roof. (mostly waterproof)
- Rope Lights. Attach rope-like lights to add a decorative touch.
Happy Sukkot to everyone who celebrates!!
The material provided by Leah Lang, the Director of Education at the Gan Camarillo Preschool in Camarillo. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Gan Camarillo Preschool's blog at www.gancamarillo.blogspot.com.
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