A sukkah is a booths or hut (the plural in Hebrew is “sukkot”) in which Jews are supposed to dwell during the week-long celebration of Sukkot.
According to rabbinic tradition, these tent-like structures represent the huts in which the Israelites dwelt during their 40 years of wandering in the desert after escaping from slavery in Egypt. The festival of Sukkot is one of the three pilgrimage festivals of the Jewish year.
The rabbis of the Talmud stipulated that a sukkah should have at least three walls and a covering. The walls can be of any material, but should be sturdy enough to withstand an ordinary wind. The roof should be made out of thatch or branches, which provides some shade and protection from the sun, but also allows the stars to be seen at night.
Find more details on the laws of sukkah construction here.
It is traditional to decorate the sukkah and hang fruit and fragrant plants inside. During the holiday, Jews traditionally spend as much time in the sukkah as possible. Weather permitting, meals are eaten in the sukkah, and some people even to choose to sleep in the sukkah.
Learn about some of the explanations for sitting in the sukkah here.
Learn more about building a sukkah here.
If building things is not your forte or you are pressed for time, consider ordering an easy, ready-to-assemble sukkah, either in a pop-up sukkah market or online.
Pronounced: SOO-kah (oo as in book) or sue-KAH, Origin: Hebrew, the temporary hut built during the Harvest holiday of Sukkot.