WITH the onset of Sukkot, an increasingly popular Jewish harvest holiday that has lately emerged from the high, holy shadows of its immediate precursors, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, those new to celebrating it will no doubt have questions.
You may be wondering, for example, if it’s permissible to build your sukkah, the structure used during the week-long holiday for dining, entertaining and sometimes sleeping, out of the carcass of a tethered elephant. Or you may be hoping that you can set it up on the back of a camel. In both cases, the Talmud tells us, the answer is yes — as long as the sukkah has three walls (some scholars say two and a half) and stands taller than 10 spans and shorter than 20 ells.
If you’re spatially challenged or don’t have a healthy camel or ailing elephant on hand, you may wonder if there’s an easier way. Again, the answer is yes, thanks to Sukkot’s new currency and to the plethora of prefab sukkahs. (According to rabbis and sukkah mongers alike, this do-it-yourself holiday appeals to green sensibilities and a new emphasis on child-centered observance.) It is now possible to go online and, for a few hundred dollars, order the holiday in a box.