Man playing guitar for Sukkot

Our Favorite Sukkot Traditions

02. July 2018 Sukkot 0

Hello dear readers,

When I think of Jewish holidays that rely heavily on traditions, Sukkot doesn’t exactly come to mind. I usually think of Pesach: different tunes for the seders, creative menus, fun seder decorations, and all the trappings of spring to boot. Sukkot… well, it’s a holiday that just feels different. It’s at the end of the High Holiday season, so there’s a little holiday fatigue after the intense yamim noraim of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. There’s festive meals, sure, and lulav and etrog. The main opportunity for you to inject your own character into the holiday is … the sukkah decorations, I guess.

But I do have a special Sukkot tradition, and I want to share with you. It’s something we have in the neighborhood, an informal Sukkot jam session.

Sukkot is a happy holiday, complete with full hallel on every day. Joy and singing is a big part of the week of sukkot, and a great way to celebrate this is with music! Our friends the Levys organize an informal jam session on one night during chol hamoed Sukkot, where five or six people from the community get together to play music and sing Jewish songs. (There must be fun Sukkot songs, right? I can never remember, I’m horribly tone-deaf and have no memory for music or songs.) One member of the original group is a professional musician, and every year he brings a new instrument just to noodle around on for a bit, before he goes back to the guitar or bass or one of the many instruments he’s mastered.

Originally, it was just four people, including my next-door neighbor Morris. They had two guitars, a keyboard and a vocalist. The very first performance was just the four of them, in the Levys’ basement. However, they decided to do an encore performance the next night, and a few people from the block showed up. It goes without saying that we loved it. That was a few years ago, and since then it’s become more or less an official thing. I’ve heard that for this year, they’re going to make the informal concert into a formal performance, an actual performance in a venue, with proceeds going to charity!

So that’s one Sukkot tradition that’s unique to me and my family. However, we’re always looking for more ways to bring even more joy to Sukkot! If you have any fun family Sukkot traditions you’d like to share, post them in the comments below! Special preference for traditions that are easy to take on the go, as we will be spending this upcoming sukkot on a kosher Sukkot vacation!

More soon,



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