Shiloh Musings: Being Protected by The Succah

designer_sukkahBy:Batya Medad

All or most of us grew up on the story of the three pigs, who each built a different kind of house, straw, sticks and bricks. And when the wolf came to attack, only the brick house provided protection. This true story I’m now going to tell goes rather differently.

Your typical succah, the “booth” we’re commanded by Gd to live in for the week of Succot, is more like a house made of straw or sticks.

Even though technically, according to Jewish Law, a succah can be made with bricks, as an inner patio or dining-room that has a removable ceiling/roof, the spirit behind the law is that it be more mobile or temporary, like in these photos. And even if you have one of those rooms with a removable roof, it’s the schach, some sort of branch, whither actual branches, narrow wooden beams or these bamboo sticks you can see in the photos above which make the room/structure a kosher succah.
I don’t know if the Jerusalem Municipality still does it, but when we lived in Bayit Vegan, Jerusalem, 1971-81, the municipality would drop off free schach (freshly pruned tree branches) every year. And every year I’d show up, the only woman fighting a bunch of aggressive men for those leafy branches to top our succah. I’d bring some string, and tie my hard won collection onto the baby carriage and then drag them to our building. And since they were of such value, I’d then drag them up the three flights of stairs and into our apartment to the balcony where we had our succah.

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