Emanuel Synagogue

Fun on Sukkot

Build a Sukkah

This is the perfect year to build a sukkah! Whether you are a first timer or an old hand at building, it’s not as hard as you might think and there are many ways to be creative and put your own personal stamp on your sukkah!


There are a couple of rules for building a sukkah and if you want yours to be fully kosher, these are some things you may wish to consider. But even if you don’t meet all the requirements, have a go at building your own version!

  1. A sukkah needs to have at least two and a half walls (only one can be an existing wall such as the wall of your house)
  2. The walls can be made of any material: canvas, wood, material (sheets, blankets)
  3. Your sukkah should have a roof covering which provides shade and enables those sitting inside to see the stars. The tradition is to cover the roof with branches of trees or materials which have grown in the ground. But again, you can be creative!

And that’s it! Not too hard. So head outside and start constructing your sukkah!

Build a sukkah

Helpful suggestions

Helpful Suggestions

You can go to these websites for sukkah building instructions

PJ Library:


Purple Twig:


You can buy a sukkah kit online

You can go to your favourite hardware shop or dollar store, gardening shop and buy a gazebo! Leave the roof off and replace it with a sukkah roof!

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.

Enter our Sukkah Competition

We would love to see and enjoy your sukkot so we are having a competition! Send us photos of you in your sukkah and you can be featured on our website, be entered into our competition and win prizes! Let us know which category you would like to enter, or you may wish to just send us a photo.

We have a few categories:

The Best Themed Sukkah

Most Luxurious Sukkah

Most eco-friendly Sukkah

Best use of an unusual object in a sukkah (if you are entering this category let us know what you have added to your sukkah.

Send your photos to info@emanuel.org.au

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”

Sukkah decoration
Decorations for Sukkot
Shake a lulav
Build a sukkah
ranberry chocolate challah rolls

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 will have to limit the number of actual guests who can 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 or in your seats at the synagogue!

Simchat Torah House Party

Can’t get to synagogue on Simchat Torah? Never fear, you can celebrate with us from your own house party!!

Just you and your household can create an amazing Simchat Torah with us. Get in the party mood with some decorations, yummy snack foods and your musical instruments. As we in the synagogue walk around the bima with the Torah, join us on a circuit of your living room! Singing at the top of your lungs and playing your instruments: home made (two wooden spoons, a bowl and whisk, whatever you can find) or actual instruments. It’s hard to bring your piano to synagogue but it is right there at home, waiting to be played!