This is our first year we actually have a backyard to celebrate Sukkot. I certainly wouldn’t have in the past where we were living. As much as I’d like to tell you we’re building a sukkah as a full experiment this year, we aren’t. A traditional celebration just doesn’t work for us right now. And not just because we’re particularly inept at the building side of the holiday.
J never celebrated it as a kid except for when he was in Hebrew school. So he doesn’t have a lot of connection to it. Our Rabbi always calls it his favorite holiday. And it has a lot of meaning. When I was going through the conversion process, I connected to Sukkot because it has connections to Catholics too. While we didn’t celebrate it, I got the minor holidays as ones that people in my history would have celebrated. It felt like one we could explore together.
And so we started to find other ways to celebrate. Like having picnics outside since we didn’t have any sort of way of actually having a sukkah.
This year J will be traveling and I’ll be here. So I’m opting to go to our Rabbi’s party with our young adult group. We do s’mores, snacks, drinks, and conversation. Our young adult community is a wide age range mix. Some of us are married or engaged, a lot are single. In the single group, most of them have grown up in the community. At the end of the day, we’re all just looking for a community to be with as young adults at a little bit of a weird time for all of us. Synagogue life does a really great job catering to families. There’s tons of programming for children from toddlerhood to high school and events for their parents as well. But when you’re before that time or after it’s a bit of a transition time.
Our community has done a really great job of picking minor holidays to bring those underserved groups. They focus mostly on the minor holidays that nobody is going back to their parent’s for or might have a house full of visitors for.
This year, that connection really makes me more excited for Sukkot than previous years. Since it falls on my earliest day of the week, I can make the gathering.
One of the advantages of minor holidays for us as people who practice Reform Judaism is we’re not as tied to the minor holidays as more strict denominations are. So we’ll celebrate the best way we can, with our community.
And hey, who knows, maybe one day we’ll get a sukkah from The Sukkah Project that even we can put together!