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A Sukkot story

סוכה מטר על מטר

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin ([email protected])

A tiny sukkah, just one meter long by one meter wide, was set up before the holiday in a park located in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo. Here's the explanation behind it as told by David Michael Cohen, who built the sukkah and hung this story inside it.

"Two years ago, my father had a serious heart attack in the United States in the middle of summer vacation. I stayed by his side in New York for several months, including during the holidays of Tishrei.

On the last day of Sukkot, his condition worsened and I ate beside him in the hospital. But it was also important for me to eat in a Sukkah. So when his condition improved later that night, I went outside with some food in search of a Sukkah in the neighborhood.

I searched and searched until I found a tiny sukkah on the sidewalk, one meter by one meter in size. It was exactly what I needed so I knocked on the door of the adjacent house to request permission to use it. A woman answered the door and said it was her family's sukkah and that I was welcome to eat there.

I ate, tried to sing a few holiday songs, and started to cry about my father's condition. Suddenly I saw someone peek into the sukkah. And then a young man, the husband of the woman next door, asked why I was crying. I began telling him about my father in the hospital, about all the difficulties we were having, and also about the food that I put aside since I so much wanted to eat in a sukkah. The more I spoke, the more I noticed the emotional effect my story was having on him.

When I finished speaking, he said: 'Now it's my turn to tell you a story. I had already begun building the sukkah walls when my wife told me we would be going to her parents for Sukkot. I did not understand why it was still so important for me to finish building a sukkah here -- which we never used -- but now I understand; I built it just for you.'

"So this year," David concluded, "I built a tiny sukkah in the Levona Park in Gilo. It is meant for anyone who is stuck without a sukkah and needs to use one. May all the blessings that are said and mitzvot that are performed in this sukkah be in memory of my father, Ephraim ben Shlomo and Sultana. Chag sameach."

מכתב תודה על הסוכה של משפחת רוזנטל


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