Sukkah Building Competition
Congratulations to all our prizewinners in our Sukkah Competition this year!
Your prizes will be arriving soon (or later if you are more than 5km from the synagogue!)
Debbie and Stephen Scholem
The Most Covid Safe Sukkah with their QR code check in for all guests including Ushpizin. And an honourable mention for going the extra mile with their magic eye photo!
Mel Drinkwater, Ronnie Schnapp and Abbie and Aimee
The most fun sukkah, with its own swing! And for the second year in a row, the most fabulous decorations (and best use of lanterns in a sukkah)
The cosiest sukkah and an extra prize for the most artistic use of branches
Ron, Lisa, Ethan, Laya and Holly Fleischer and Zimri the cat
The sukkah to the stars! Filled with stars on the roof and in the sukkah with Ethan, Laya and Holly and their etrogim. And a special mention for the most pet friendly sukkah, a special throne for Zimri!
Ben and Sharon Berger
The coolest sukkah: retro tie dye is back!
You can go to these websites for sukkah building instructions
Decorating your sukkah
There are no rules for decorating a sukkah so it is a wonderful opportunity to be creative. The sukkah space should be comfortable and pleasant to sit in and some people create very luxurious spaces. There are stories of people moving couches and beds outside, placing beautiful lamps to light the space. Decorations for sukkot cover the spectrum from simple paper chains, to much more elaborate “themed” sukkot. It is a great time to use fairy lights, and all the sparkling decorations that we don’t have the opportunity to use at other times of the year.
How to shake your lulav
The lulav is comprised of palm, willow and myrtle branches together with an etrog (a yellow citrus fruit)
It is traditional to take the lulav and etrog and wave it in the sukkah. You can head to the URJ website for a video or follow these easy instructions:
Hold the etrog with the pitom (the little pointy bit) facing down and hold the lulav together with it
Say the blessing:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוׂתָיו, וְצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת לוּלָב:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְמַן הַזֶּה:
Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha’olam asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu al netilat lulav
Blessed are You Eternal our God, sovereign of the universe, who has made us holy through Your mitzvot and commanded us to wave the lulav.
Flip the etrog up the other way, pitom up and shake!
Shake your lulav three times in each of the six directions
Ahead, right, back, left, up, down
While you shake the lulav you can sing the traditional: “Hodu La’adonai ki tov, ki leolam hasdo” or the less traditional, Casey and the Sunshine Band hit: “Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, your lulav”
Cooking for Sukkot
Would you like to make some delicious food for Sukkot?
Here are some great recipes:
Click here for a recipe from Monday Morning Cooking Club
Click here for a recipe for Sweet Couscous
Click here for lots of delicious ideas for Shemini Atzeret
Want to know what to do with your etrog after Sukkot? Here is how you can eat it!
Blessings for your sukkah
One of the mitzvot of Sukkot is to be seated in a sukkah. So when you go into your sukkah, or visit someone else’s you sit down and say this blessing:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּנוּ לֵישֵׁב בַּסֻּכָּה
Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha’olam asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu lashev basukkah
Blessed are You Eternal our God, sovereign of the universe, who has made us holy through Your mitzvot and commanded us to sit in the sukkah
Invite a guest
Sukkot is the festival of joy and hospitality. We invite guests, real and imagined, to join us in our sukkot. This year, we can only invite those who live in our household to sit with us in our sukkot but luckily there is also a tradition of inviting ushpizin, our ancestors, a different one each day, to join us in the sukkah. Of course, the tradition only invites male guests but we have added some female guests as suggestions to accompany them. The guests in order of the day of sukkot are:
Abraham and Sarah
Isaac and Rebecca
Jacob and Rachel and Leah
Moses and Yochevet (his mother) and Batya (his adoptive mother)
Aaron and Miriam
Joseph and Deborah
David and Hannah
It is also a fun activity to choose your own guests to invite to the sukkah, people living or dead, real or imagined, inventors, actors, characters, political leaders…you are constrained only by your own imaginations!
The Emanuel Simchat Torah TikTok Dance
Click here for details of the Simchat Torah TikTok Dance (we call it tik-shloch) dance! Learn the moves and join us.
It is a COVID safe dance able to be done at home.