Rabbi takes to the road to celebrate Sukkot holiday
Rabbi Yonah Grossman, of the Chabad Jewish Center of North Dakota in Fargo, is traveling across the state in a traveling sukkah hut in the back of a pickup truck in order to enable Jewish people to celebrate the holiday of Sukkot.
Grossman said in an email that the traveling sukkah hut will be parked near Starbucks at 1340 South Broadway in Minot today, from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
According to a press release from Grossman, the sukkah, a temporary structure covered with vegetation or bamboo, commemorates the time the Jews wandered in the desert wilderness on their way to the Promised Land and the miraculous clouds that surrounded them.
Grossman plans for the traveling sukkah to make stops in Grand Forks, Minot, Williston, Dickinson, and Bismarck this week, sharing the holiday spirit with people who may not have access to a Sukkah booth. Bagels and lox will be available in the Sukkah at all times along with hot coffee or soup to add to the enjoyment of the holiday.
According to the press release, other holiday practices of Sukkot include eating in the sukkah for the duration of the holiday. Jews also take “Four Species” of plant life – a citron fruit, palm branch, willows twigs and myrtle stems – and shake them together with a special blessing on each day of the festival. A set of the “Four Species” will also be on hand in the traveling sukkah.
“We want to ensure that every Jew in North Dakota has the ability to celebrate their faith”, said Grossman in the press release. A central theme of the Sukkot holiday is to unify people. “There are Jewish North Dakotans spread throughout the state. Connecting through the celebration of sukkot allows us to unify as one community.”
The traveling sukkah joins several other less-mobile cousins, such as the booths found at private homes in Fargo, Grand Forks, and Minot.
The holiday observances began last Sunday at sundown and will end this Sunday at dark, immediately followed by the two-day holiday of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, ending at nightfall on Tuesday, Oct. 2.