Sukkah = TARDIS

It’s my theory that the sukkah was actually the first TARDIS. For those of you unfamiliar with the TARDIS, it’s the time machine and spacecraft used in the British science fiction TV program Doctor Who, an acronym for Time and Relative Dimension in Space. For those of you unfamiliar with a sukkah, it’s the time machine and spacecraft used by Jews during the harvest festival of Sukkot.

When I first put this idea out on Facebook, a friend asked: “Is it because a sukkah transports you back to biblical harvest time?” My answer: Part right.

Via the celebration of the harvest, the Sukkah/TARDIS transports us back to the beauty in the creation of the world, the most wonderful gifts of God, the bounty of the earth. At the same time, the sukkah connects us to the end of days, when one great Sukkat Shalom, a beautiful and holy tabernacle of peace, will cover the entire earth. The beauty of creation touches the beauty of redemption.

The sukkah also transports us back to the time of our ancestors as we invite the Patriarchs and Matriarchs to visit us in our sukkot, to share their stories and their wisdom. Simultaneously, it takes us forward, via our descendants, our children and grandchildren who enter the sukkah, who learn from the seeing, the doing and the act of creating and dwelling in Sukkot. The holiness of our fathers and mothers touches the holiness of our children, their joy and their celebration.

And the sukkah bridges our most fervent desires with our best behavior. From the moment Yom Kippur ends—even before—we’re thinking about inviting guests to visit our sukkot, feeding others in need and living lives of Torah. The beauty of our hopes, refined and expanded with 40 days of prayer and introspection, touches the beauty of our deeds as we begin a week of happiness and celebration.

In the sukkah, beauty touches beauty. And we find beauty dancing with us. The sukkah is the best TARDIS ever invented.

Here’s a meditation on the beauty of Sukkot:

Beauty Dances
Beauty dances
With us
Whenever we build
A tabernacle
To God’s Holy Name.

Love sings
With us
Whenever we rejoice
In gladness
On God’s festive days.

Peace cries
With us
Whenever we yearn
In prayer
For God’s holy shelter.

Let us build this place,
This tabernacle where we praise,
With all of our hearts,
God’s pardon and promise.
Let us build this place,
Where we delight,
With thanksgiving and wonder,
In God’s bounty and gifts.

Let us build this place,
This Sukkat Shalom,
Where beauty dances
And love sings.
Where peace cries out:
Build, build,
You children of Israel,
A tent of holiness,
Strong and true.
Build it in your heart,
In your home,
In your life,
In the world.

“Beauty Dances” is © 2011 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

About the Author
Alden Solovy is the Liturgist-in-Residence at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. A liturgist, poet, and educator, his teaching spans from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem to Limmud UK and synagogues throughout North America. He's the author of “This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day” and has written more than 750 pieces of new liturgy. His new book, "This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings," was published in 2019. He made aliyah in 2012. Read his work at