Thursday, August 13th 2020   |


On Succot, use King Solomon’s wisdom to endure the election season


(JTA) — Building up to Succot, with its temporary, shaky succah, it’s easy to forget that the holiday comes with something more substantial: its own book, Ecclesiastes — Kohelet in Hebrew — which is read during the festival and gives us a solid sampling of earthly wisdom.

“A season is set for everything, a time for every experience under heaven,” Kohelet famously tells us, which this...

These Jerusalem succahs are nicer than yours


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Amit Zakoon’s flower business started with a seed — literally — but it quickly grew into one of Jerusalem’s premier purveyors of luxury succahs.

“We work for all the rich and famous,” Zakoon, the owner and CEO of Yarok Yarok Events Design, told JTA.

Studio Ya Ya, as Zakoon’s clients call the business, is known for executing weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs and parties for Jerusalem’s...

5 reasons why Succot is great for kids (sorry Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur)


(Kveller via JTA) — Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are boring. There, I said it. Seriously, what do Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur offer from a child’s perspective?

Rosh Hashanah’s selling points are the shofar and raisins. Kids are hustled into the sanctuary and told to be absolutely silent while listening to the shofar. Keeping my kids silent without electronics in their hands is as difficult...

Hurricane Joaquin: Can Jews take down their succahs for a storm?


(JTA) — As Hurricane Joaquin gains steam off the southeastern coast of the United States, the question has begun to circulate online: Are Jews allowed to take down their succahs in the case of a storm?

Succot, which began Sunday, runs through this Sunday evening. Hurricane Joaquin, the first large tropical storm of the hurricane season (the name means “raised by God” in Hebrew), could hit parts...

Shmita sabbatical year puts Israel’s Succot four species industry in a bind



( — Hagai Kirshenbaum is a member of the fourth generation of his family to harvest etrogim (singular: etrog) on a large orchard outside of Rehovot in central Israel. Each year, he personally oversees the annual export of thousands of what the Torah calls the “fruit of a beautiful tree.”

But not this year.

This fall marks the culmination of the Jewish shmita (sabbatical) year, which...

Celebrating Succot in a time of drought


LOS ANGELES (JTA) — While preparing for Succot in drought-ridden California, I hoped that the holiday’s joy had not dried up alongside much of the state’s water supply. For a holiday also called “the season of our joy,” one that celebrates the harvest and is filled with greenery and fruit, I worried about how the lack of rain would affect our celebration here and in other...

Those low-rent Sinai booths

By TED ROBERTS, the SCRIBBLER ON THE ROOF It’s a big mitzvah, you know, to “dwell in booths for seven days”. That’s what they tell us in Leviticus: Chapter 23. As usual, we’re at the mercy of the translation.

It doesn’t mean “booths” like phone booths or kissing booths. It means the huts, tents, and hovels of our vagabond ancestors who roamed the Sinai three millennia ago. They were renters...

Worth a trek: Searching Moroccan mountains for etrogs


ASSADS, Morocco (JTA) — We had to cross the gorge, and the only way was to walk single file on a narrow concrete gutter, maybe a foot wide, that bridged the two cliffs. Below us was a long, perilous drop onto the rocky depths.

I was traveling deep into the rural communities of Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, and so I’d expected to get a little dusty. But no...

Sukkah-Fest is Uptown today

Chabad-Lubavitch of Louisiana will hold its 2014 Sukkah-Fest this afternoon at 5:30p.m. at 919 Broadway, the home of Rabbi Zelig and Bluma Rivkin.

Slated to perform today will be The Panorama Jazz Band featuring Ben Schenk. For more information click here or send an email here.

Sukkah-Fest major sponsors include Jon Powell and the Edry family.

In New York, high-end dealers cater to Jews seeking the perfect etrog


NEW YORK (JTA) – Naftali Berger’s quest for perfection ends in victory when the 24-year-old kollel student enters Tsvi Dahan’s trailer on Wallabout Street in the haredi Orthodox Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.

“Find something wrong with it — find it!” a glowing Berger exclaims Monday as he holds his treasure: a bumpy, lemon-like fruit.

In open-air markets and on...