Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'm gonna git you Succah!*

* props to good friend Larry Getzler

Everything's better in Israel. Okay, 99% of everything is better in Israel. Right now, our succah was better in the Old Country (ie, Vancouver).

Let me explain. In Israel, we have a mirpeset (balcony). Based on Jewish law, our mirpeset is a kosher succah (hut-like thing) as soon as we put kosher schach (branch-like covering thing) on top. We bought a bamboo mat that we just roll out on top of our mirpeset. Well, Morey rolls it out, after he climbs up on the roof of the building.

Chick-chock, snip-snap, Bob's yer uncle, we have a kosher succah.

Except. It just looks like our mirpeset, just with a bamboo mat on top.

So we went out and bought cloth walls to hang from the roof of our mirpeset. The cloth walls definitely make it look and feel like a succah, but it's still weird. And it looks a little wonky.

I never thought to take pictures of our succah in Vancouver, although now I wish I had. In Vancouver, we had a backyard, so every year, I'd borrow our neighbour's awesome ladder (g'day Brett!), grab my trusty drill, screws, hammer, nails and 2x4s and build our 8-foot by 8-foot succah. Made out of plywood and lattice, it took me two days to finish.

Then Brett and I would chop down loads of the bamboo that grew wild in our backyards, and Morey and I would carefully lay them across the top of the succah, making our roof. Then I would decorate the inside, starting with the amazing Moroccan lamp that our friend and neighbour Bear (a"h) loaned us.

It was easy to decorate because the walls were wood and lattice, so I could easily get hooks into the walls. Now, we have two stone walls, and two precariously hung cloth walls. It's not so easy to hang things. And the roof of the mirpeset is too high to reach easily without a ladder (and we're without a ladder), so we can't easily hang things from the roof.

I miss our big ol' backyard succah. Tent poles and twine just isn't the same. I miss the leaves and branches hanging down (not too far) through the roof slats. Bamboo mats just don't hang. We're hopeful that someday we'll have a place here in Israel with a yard and we'll be able to truly build a succah once again.

Mind you, it may sound like I'm complaining, but I'm not. I miss our Vancouver succah, but what we gain for the holiday of Succot in Israel far outweighs the deficiencies in our strange little mirpeset succah. Like, for starters, it very rarely rains on Succot here, so we can actually use the darn thing. And we can sit in the succah without a space heater or 5 layers.

And hey, the weird little thing's kinda growing on me.


Miriam said...

Hi Alissa
Great blog and pictures! I'm going to add your blog to my Blogs that I Enjoy section on my blog.

Shabbat Shalom
Chag Sukkot Sameach.


OneTiredEma said...

where are the christmas lights?

Alissa said...

Thanks, Miriam! I'm so bad about keeping my blogroll up-to-date...

OTE, NO LIGHTS! :) If I agree to xmas lights, eventually those chili peppers will show up! I might be convinced one day to go for rope lights, though.