Shabbat Message: “Beating Mother Nature”

By Margie Miller, WLCJ President

The most frustrating part of Sukkot has to do with the weather. No one wants to eat in a rainy Sukkah and no one likes to see all the beautiful handmade decorations get ruined. I have found a way to beat Mother Nature.

My synagogue sukkah, which I coordinate and decorate (with a small team of loyal friends), is totally waterproof. No, my beautiful colorful paper chains don’t get ruined because they are made with thin, foam-colored “paper.” The Rosh Hashanah cards are laminated onto large posters. Large hand-painted Jewish stars made out of painters’ sticks are created with waterproof paint and sprayed with sealant. Fabric banners are hand-painted with fabric paint. Fabric and plastic garlands and flowers are bountiful as are plastic beaded decorations hung from mobiles I made. I appreciate rain during this harvest festival but I’m secretly more devoted to my decorations!

My first family Sukkah (probably not that Kosher) was made out of my childrens’ backyard play gym. I hung sheets around three sides, trimmed my trees and bushes for the top, had the kids make decorations, and dragged in a picnic table and chairs. Perhaps not a contest-winning Sukkah, but a Sukkah it was. Although those little boys are now fathers themselves, one of my favorite pictures of their youth was the one of them sitting in that first sukkah we “built” together.

So this Sukkot, whether it rains or not, whether your decorations get wet or not, whether your Sukkah is modest or fabulous, surround yourself with your family and be grateful that we can celebrate this joyous holiday in such a unique way.

From my Sukkah to yours,

Shabbat Shalom and Hag Sameach Sukkot!

Margie Miller