It's Sukkot, Let's Vote: The Letter I Wrote to My Neighbors about Our Sukkah

October 5, 2020Shira Zemel

Hi, neighbors!

If you take a peek through our fence, you’ll see what’s called a sukkahsukkahסֻכָּה"Booth" or "hut;" temporary structure associated with the agricultural festival of Sukkot; plural: sukkot. – a temporary wooden booth we put up each fall during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. The sukkah is meant to symbolize the temporary dwellings that farmers in ancient times lived in during the period of harvest in order to stay close to the fields.

Known as z’man simchateinu (season of our rejoicing), Sukkot is the only festival associated with an explicit commandment to rejoice. We are meant to use the sukkah for eating, entertaining and even sleeping.

The sukkah has open walls and doors, to welcome as many people as we can – just as Abraham and Sarah’s tents were open on all sides to welcome the stranger. We hope to invite you into our sukkah in a year when we are living post-pandemic.

Sukkot literally means the “festival of booths.” In this particular season, we are also reminded of the civic booths that are now set up all over the country as early voting is well under way in many states. We hope each of you reading this has a plan to vote, whether it be early by mail, early in-person or day-of voting. Please: Vote your heart out!

In our sukkah this year, we are also observing a period of shloshimShloshimשְׁלוֹשִׁיםThirty-day mourning period. (the traditional Jewish 30-day mourning period) for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, our country’s first female Jewish justice. While the Senate is unlikely to honor her last wish that her position on the court not be filled until after inauguration, we certainly wish they would do so

This Sukkot is challenging. While we are commanded during this holiday to rejoice, we can’t help but be fearful this year what this SCOTUS nomination would mean for the future of reproductive rights, our health care, LGBTQ+ equality, voting rights, and so much more.

In our sukkah, this year, we pray for a better future for our country. That is our hope and our greatest wish this Sukkot.

Stay healthy and safe, neighbors. Happy Sukkot – and please, don’t forget to vote!

For more on this topic, see “It's Election Season: 7 Key Actions to Take Between Now and Nov. 3rd” and use our easy action alert tool to ask your Senators to uphold precedent.

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