B. Shira Levine
Navigating new wilderness

We have a sukkah!!!

I probably should be posting something deeper, given the grief we’re all experiencing today.  But in the vein of experiencing fully the blessings of precious life, each day of which we are not guaranteed another…


You can probably stop reading now, because I’m not going to say anything else substantive.  But should you be interested in delving further into my glee…

This season is often stressful for me, FOMO-wise.  I want my kids to grow up with traditions of big festive homestyle holiday meals.  But we don’t have local parents to give us standing holiday meal invitations, and we basically never leave town for holidays because we lead services.  Sukkot is especially taxing because without a sukkah, I can’t just host meals to solve the problem.

And obtaining a sukkah? Also pretty taxing for me, as it turns out.  Let’s just say Michael and I are not exactly handy.  We would have challenges building our way out of a paper bag, though we’d be happy to write you a song about it.  I have clicked on dozens of links about “easy” sukkah building only to have my eyes glaze over.  Two years ago I even tried to throw money at the problem (and it’s quite a bit of money!) by buying one of those little pre-fab sukkahs… when I opened the manual I couldn’t understand anything beyond “you have to buy the schach separately,” so I recycled it and figured it’d live out its days in our garage under the heading of “ill-conceived purchases that are too big of an investment to just toss.”

This year, I had basically given up on the idea.  Our service and gig schedule this fall is more hectic than ever, and I am also at an exciting but demanding career juncture.  I didn’t even think about Sukkot until the Sunday after Rosh Hashanah, when I casually asked my rabbi as our kids played together, “hey, how do you do that PVC piping sukkah thing?”  Somehow this turned into “We Will Build A Sukkah At Your House This Year,” and today, thanks to my rabbi and my husband, this turned into An Actual Sukkah At My House This Year.

Here it is. (!)


A friggin sukkah. IN MY YARD.
A friggin sukkah. IN MY YARD.
I can’t take credit, as I was at the office for the entire process.  My contribution was selecting and ordering bamboo blinds from Amazon Prime (much cheaper than trying to get a schach delivered within two business days) and making dinner for the hungry builders and decorators.

Previously hungry builders and decorators. And me. In front of a sukkah. In MY YARD!
Previously hungry builders and decorators. And me. In front of a sukkah. In MY YARD!


Adding to my cup runnething over is that both Michael and Eden seemed genuinely (not mom-nagged or wife-nagged) excited about it.  Eden literally jumped up and down when I told her we had a sukkah at home!  Emet’s a little young to understand what the fuss is about (G-d willing, we’ll do this every year and Emet will never remember not having a sukkah!) but he too enjoyed running in and out of the sukkah and talking about it (“Daddy in the sukkah!”)

Now I just need to host a Passover seder and then I’ll really be an adult!

Thank you dear friends and dear husband for this happy day!

About the Author
B. Shira Levine writes about Jewish spirituality and observance, parenting, intersectionality, and the U.S. and Atlanta Jewish communities. Views are her own and not those of her employer, synagogues, or any other organization.