Sukkah Chasers

One of our new articles at MyJewishLearning, Celebrating Sukkot without a Sukkah, is a lavishly creative and thoroughly detailed exploration of ways to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles without, well, a tabernacle.

(Side-note: when I hear the word “tabernacle,” I always used to think of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Then I met Marc Rosenberg in Washington, who was complaining about how he had to tell his professors he couldn’t come to class because it was the Second Day of the Feast of Tabernacles, and how illegitimate it sounded.)

But, hey, New York is the most Jewish city in the world. Never mind that there’s no space for anything here — if God worked the big miracles, we can totally work the small ones, right?

I went to work without lunch, thinking I could hold out till I returned to Brooklyn. Three meetings and five article edits later, I wasn’t so sure. We had the fabulous Sonja Kroop in the office for a meeting, so I walked her out and decided to show her what New York sukkot are made of.

Daniel came into the office ranting about giant flatbed-truck sukkot on Broadway. It was the kind of thing you couldn’t not explore. And, true to form: sitting in front of Jerusalem 2 Pizza on Broadway and 37th was a giant truck, taking up half the parking on the block, crammed to the brunt with Jews. Half a block down, directly in front of Kosher Delight, sat its twin. Actually, I don’t know if Jews were fully responsible for cramming it — there were a few Japanese tourists, their minds clearly more on photo ops than stuffing as many pizza slices into their mouths in as little time as possible, which was, clearly, the mission of most of the Jews there.

They must have read some other article about Sukkot without a sukkah, I figured.

I thought about getting a slice of pizza. Sonja was seeping in the environment, gazing up thorugh the bamboo roof in wonderment, but one look at the line and she was instantly remembering another appointment someplace else.

I braved the line myself, but 20 minutes in and I was starting to worry about this thing we call lunch break, and whether or not it would involve lunch. I went back to Kosher Delight. The line there looked even more intimidating. So I headed to my favorite little lunch place, a place that serves a mean cup of soup and a modest bagel, determined to get (a) something to eat, and (b) a sukkah with a seat.

Posted on October 17, 2008

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