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People think that Jews aren’t handy. Not true. When it comes to the holiday of Sukkot, we pull out that architectural paper and get to work. The people who built the pyramids come to life by showing they can still build, with structures that last eight days.
Here are the four traditional Sukkahs you can build this Sukkot.
The Cloth Sukkah is traditional Jewish building at its peak.
For construction, you take the pre-tailored cloth and slip the metal pole through the folded over hole that runs through the cloth. This is not a simple one-person job, as the metal pole can easily get stuck in the middle of the cloth. Hence, most traditional architects suggest the builders stick to brick and cement when laying the foundations of a building. They have seen the hazards of cloth building.
It might sound easy to stick a pole through cloth, but it takes a good half hour to finish this structure. Which is why so many young Jewish children opt out of the building business.
There is no greater feeling of accomplishment as a builder then when you take the hard side of the Velcro and attach it to the soft side of the Velcro. At that point, you know the building is complete. At that point, it's time to crack open that beer. That home is finished. Job well done. You can dwell in that and not get bit by mosquitos.
Great part of this Sukkah is the mesh work on the cloth window slats. This allows for a view of the wall you set up your Sukkah against.
A step up from the Cloth Sukkah in its ability to make noise in the wind.
You do not push the metal slats through the canvas here. For this Sukkah, we use the metal ring construction technique. Making it more complicated, you have to build with string and double knots. You also have to find decent plumbing, as your pipes must be strong. This Sukkah is best built in stormier areas. If you live near tall buildings, this may be a better choice than the Cloth Sukkah. However, make sure you practice tying knots before attempting construction. Anybody with untied shoelaces will not be of help here.
The best part about this Sukkah is that after the holiday, you can use your walls to transfer the leaves from your backyard to the curb.
Wood Plank Sukkah
The Wood Plank Sukkah walls are not for the novelist. Even so, it makes for great family memories. If you want the full holiday experience of family hostility, this is the Sukkah for you.
As memories are based in complication, the Wood Plank Sukkah made for my childhood memories, with yells of ‘Where is the B plank.’ My father never marked the planks, and I never knew what the B plank meant. It might have been the A or D plank that my dad was looking for. As I learned later on, it was not about the plank, but rather a chance to shout at me.
Make for family memories and add a level of complication to your holidays. Other ways to make for family memories of holiday antipathy is to live in a building and to have your Sukkah in the building’s courtyard. The 100 meter walk and four flights of stairs to the Sukkah, while carrying soup, will definitely have mom and dad yelling at the children.
You get rid of the ceiling and you're good to go.
Roofing problems? Hole in the roof? This is your year for a Sukkah. Some people don’t like racoons in their home. Those weak people call the roofer. You put up that Sukkah covering (schach) and you have the most beautiful Sukkot holiday you ever had. You just have to see the wooden lining.
I don't suggest you carve out your living room ceiling for Sukkot. It would be the religious thing to do. However, it will bring up the heating bill this winter.
I don't know if they had the Canvas Sukkah in the desert. Though, it would've made sense.
Now it's time to make for some family memories and build with your children, and yell at them. No matter what kind of Sukkah you build, remember that the Sukkah is a place to show our belief that G-d protects us from everything but flies.
We will bring you more options for Sukkah building next time. Including the Sukkahs with wheels, Clunker Sukkahs, bouncy houses and more modern day Sukkahs like the Lego Sukkah that takes many years of commitment to build.
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That is how the punchline of a Jewish joke should look. Like you're questioning something, dealing with serious stomach issues, or giving a sermon.