Sunday, September 23, 2012

Green Sukkah, Iraqi Style

Dried vegetation for building a sukkah? It certainly looks like the raw material used for creating this part of a Sukkah entitled Fractured Bubble -- one of the winning entries at New York's 2010 Sukkah City (click on the link to see the entire Sukkah).
My question is -- did the creator of this installation have Iraqi roots (pun intended)? I ask because during my recent research on Sukkot customs I found a photo of a Sukkah in Shanghai, China, circa 1930, built by the president of the Baghdadi community. Following the custom of Jewish community leaders in Baghdad, this Sukkah was made from branches of local vegetation -- not just the sechach (roof covering), but all four walls.

I have no idea if they used fresh or dried vegetation, but let's assume it was the latter and connect it with today's environmental mantra of reduce, reuse and recycle. Using dried up vegetation is a wonderful way to create a green sukkah. Agreed, it may be A LOT of hard work, so here's my suggestion. This year make a miniature prototype. If you live in a house, check out your hedges and backyard greenery. Instead of throwing weeds, dried up leaves and branches away, connect them green lego style. Live in an apartment? How about taking a trip to your local florist and ask what they do with unsold, wilted flowers. Those stems can be easily recycled. Other ideas? I think I'm going to let you take it from here. Think green and out of the box. I'm sure you and your children/students will come up with more innovative sukkah building ideas.

No comments:

Post a Comment