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Glimpse | Sukkot Shelter Takes a Ride

Amanda Schaefer, photos by Andrea Paulseth

     The Jewish festival of Sukkot begins on the night of Oct. 13 and ends the night of Oct. 23. Sometimes called the Festival of Booths or the Festival of Tabernacles, the celebration commemorates the 40 days the Israelites spent in the desert. The booth, or sukka, that is traditionally built by a family during the festival represents the temporary shelters the Israelites lived in during that time in the desert, and the family is to eat meals and pray in the booth. This year for Sukkot, Temple Sholom will be building a sukka which will travel through Eau Claire to educate the community about the history, traditions, and symbols of the festival. When it’s not travelling to libraries and schools, the sukka will be set up on the corner of State Street and McKinley Avenue. On Oct. 19, there will be a celebration at Temple Sholom where Rabbi Jonathan Perlman will lead the group in song, as well as explain the origins and symbols of the holiday, including the sukka itself, the lulav (a palm branch with myrtle and willow), and the ertog (a citrus fruit from Israel).  As well as being the Season of Rejoicing, Sukkot is a harvest festival where people are to gather to express gratitude for what they have, but also to remember those who don’t have enough. In that spirit, Temple Sholom is hosting a food drive during the celebration on Oct. 19 for Feed My People Food Bank. While the celebration is free, food donations are encouraged.