Due to COVID-19, Metro Detroit congregations and individuals are improvising this year for Sukkot.
COVID-19 has led to creativity and innovation in Jewish observance, and the trend continues with Sukkot.
Normally, Sukkot, the Festival of Huts, where temporary structures are built in yards to commemorate the temporary dwellings of Israelites during their 40 years in the desert, is a very social holiday. Celebrants welcome ushpizin — honored guests — into their sukkot and children enjoy “sukkah hopping” from one home to another, collecting treats at each. Congregations build large sukkot and hold communal meals.
Social distancing protocol makes these practices difficult, if not impossible, so this year congregations and individuals are improvising.
The leaders of Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Township thought about just not building their sukkah this year, but realized there are ways to use it safely.
“The very nature of being an outdoor holiday makes Sukkot a perfect opportunity for us to celebrate in a safe way,” said Rabbi Mark Miller.
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