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Bet Shira Congregation 2013 Drive-Thru Sukkah

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Posted on 09/16/2013 @ 09:18 PM

Bet Shira Congregation 2013 Drive-Thru Sukkah

The holiday of Sukkot, the Jewish harvest festival, begins on Wednesday evening, September 18th for eight days. Jews sit, eat, socialize and even sleep in the Sukkah. The Sukkah in the Synagogue courtyard is commonplace. The Sukkah at home is the standard. What about a “drive-thru” Sukkah?

Bet Shira Congregation has again constructed what is believed to be the first drive-thru Sukkah. Sitting in the Sukkah reminds us of our connection to nature, the Jewish people’s early agrarian days, and links to the temporary dwellings of the Israelites during the exodus from Egypt. Spending time in the Sukkah fosters these connections.

“Cars are integral to our lifestyle,” said Rabbi Mark H. Kula of Bet Shira Congregation. “Why not link them to the Sukkah? We sit as we drive; this way, we can sit in our cars in the Sukkah. Perhaps realizing the fragility of the Sukkah will encourage driving more carefully.”

“Rabbi Kula came up with this program four years ago” said Bet Shira Congregation’s Dr. Lori Blum, President of this 400+ member Pinecrest Conservative Congregation. “When I heard about the idea, I thought to myself -- Wow! He gets it. He is applying traditional Judaism to modern times. Rabbi Kula and the Bet Shira Leadership believe we should meet people where they are in their life's Jewish Journey. This program captures that quite literally!"

The “Drive Thru Sukkah” is located at 7500 S.W. 120th Street, Pinecrest, Miami, in the Synagogue’s main parking lot. Simply proceed past the first speed bump, drive into the Sukkah, stop and say the posted blessing celebrating our awareness of the Sukkah traditions. For more information, contact Bet Shira Congregation at (305) 238-2601 or visit www.betshira.org. Everyone is welcome.

Volunteers will be present in the Sukkah, holding a Lulav (palm), and Etrog (citron) during several time periods the week of Sukkot. We hold and shake these symbols of nature in the Sukkah, and note that beauty surrounds us as we pursue peace in all directions. Let your senses be aware of the preciousness of nature. Be protective of the environment and appreciate nature.

Hopefully, this Sukkah innovation ritual may lead to more interest in Sukkot. Rabbi Kula suggests “We should be a little more Sukkah Conscientious this year and rejoice in Sukkot, the Jewish festival of happiness.”

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