Why a Sukkah is Your Secret Path to Love
Did you notice a bunch of strange-looking huts springing up in your town about a week ago? Perhaps they have canvas walls with bamboo roofs. Maybe you’ve seen some with pine branches on top. A few are constructed of wooden panels. These temporary huts, or sukkahs, are built every year in celebration of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Why do Jews build these backyard huts? During biblical times, when the Israelites were wandering for 40 years in the Sinai desert on their journey from slavery in Egypt to the Holy Land of Israel, they couldn’t have permanent homes. The bible says Clouds of Glory protected them from harm. In gratitude for that protection, the Jewish people celebrate the holiday of Sukkot and dwell in these huts, or sukkahs, for seven days and nights.
When I was a teenager, our sukkah was homespun, made of canvas purchased at the hardware store, hung on heavy metal pipes which my father screwed together on our back deck. My parents were brave enough to let me paint murals on all four walls. We’d eat in our sukkah for seven days, singing festive songs and listening to our neighbors sing and laugh in their sukkahs. I felt the warmth of connecting with community and nature. In bad weather, we didn’t mind wearing winter coats or even getting a little wet.
Celebrating Sukkot as a single woman
I’ve built my own sukkah every year since my divorce. I enjoy decorating it with my kids, hanging the tacky artificial fruit, sparkly Christmas decorations, and whacky wall hangings. I love inviting guests, especially those who don’t have a sukkah, to share a warm meal with us.
The deeper meaning of Sukkot
As I sit in my temporary home this Sukkot, I’m reminded of the fleeting nature of our material possessions. I contemplate how I’d feel if I lost everything I own – my house, clothing, jewelry, car, computer. It would definitely take some adjustment, but I’d be okay in the end. I am not very attached to my things. They can be replaced. Relationships, on the other hand, are integral to our lives. They are the foundation, like the four walls of the sukkah that protect us and add value to our lives. The things we own are like the Sukkah decorations; fancy, fun, and decorative. The Sukkah would still stand without the decorations. But the decorations would not matter much without the Sukkah.
The Sukkah: Your secret path to love
Whether or not you celebrate Sukkot, I invite you to take a moment and reflect on what really matters. Do you spend most of your energy in pursuit of material wealth? Do you nurture your relationships? If you’re single, are you working on refining your own foundation, living in alignment with your core values? Are you actively pursuing a relationship with a potential life partner? Are you focusing on their external “decorations” or the solid foundation of their integrity?
What’s one small step you can take towards attracting a lasting loving relationship? Will you improve your online dating profile essay? Upload better photos? Get more social by participating in a hike or bike ride for singles via meetup.com? Join a Facebook group for singles?
If you’re actively pursuing a relationship, remember that your single status is only temporary, like the impermanent nature of a Sukkah. One day you will find someone who loves you as you deserve. Keep building towards your future partnership. Express gratitude for the important people in your life. They matter so much more than the shiny sparkly decorations (a new pair of expensive heels, that designer purse). In the end, your relationships are what matter most.
What will you do today on your path to love?
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