Blog

12 Places to Look for Sukkot in Jerusalem

Tags: Judy Lash Balint, Sukkot, Holidays, Am Yisrael, Tradition, Arts and Culture, Chaggim

by Judy Lash Balint

Sukka takes over my parking spot on the street outside my apartment (photo credit: Judy Lash Balint)

Sukka takes over my parking spot on the street outside my apartment (photo credit: Judy Lash Balint)

A non-Jewish friend coming to Israel on business this week wrote to ask if I could explain what an American Jewish colleague had warned him about in advance of his visit. “Don’t freak out, but the whole country will be on vacation, and people will be sitting around in these little flimsy booths…”

Yes, I confirmed to my friend: A few days after Yom Kippur, Israelis celebrate Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, as it’s known in English. For seven days, we commemorate the time our ancestors spent wandering in the desert as well as pondering the temporary nature of our own existence.

How do we do this? By actually building and living in temporary booths (that’s the meaning of the word Sukkot) and Jerusalem is one of the best places to see how many variations and interpretations of a “booth” people can come up with and attach to their home or business or even build in their parking spot on the street.

So here are my suggestions to my friend, and anyone who happens to be coming to Jerusalem, of a few of the best places to see the most interesting sukkot this year–the holiday goes on for seven days, so there’s plenty of time to plan a Sukkah route.

Have any favorites of your own? Add them to the comments section below.

1. Start out with one of the grandest sukkot–that would be at the President’s Residence on Hanassi Street in Rehavia. President Reuven Rivlin holds court at an open house in his sukka one morning of the intermediate days. You’ll get a cold drink, a hand shake and a photo op with the president–providing you have the patience to stand on line for a while…

President Rivlin prepares his sukkah with the help of some local kids.  Photo: MFA.gov.il

President Rivlin prepares his sukkah with the help of some local kids. Photo: MFA.gov.il

2. Head over to the Jewish Quarter in the Old City via St James Road. Head straight down to the main square in front of the restored Hurva Synagogue and join the crowds reveling in the huge sukka there.

Building the Hurva Synagogue sukka (photo credit: Judy Lash Balint)

Building the Hurva Synagogue sukka (photo credit: Judy Lash Balint)

3. Walk a few streets north into the back streets of the Jewish Quarter and look up on the rooftops and into the courtyards. You’ll see mattresses piled up and kids running in and out of their neighbor’s sukkot.

4. Wend your way out of the Old City via Mt Zion and stop by the funky Diaspora Yeshiva sukka that overlooks the southern view over the Gehinom Valley.

5. For the most luxurious sukkot in town, stop by for a peek at the mega-sukkot of the deluxe hotels on King David Street–the Waldorf Astoria, David Citadel and the King David Hotel.

6. Vying for the title of sukkot with the best views are those in the restaurants atop the Mamilla Alrov Mall just outside Jaffa Gate. Try Kedma on the roof level, or Cafe Rimon or Aroma on the mall level. A few steps away is Jerusalem’s town square, Kikar Safra, which boasts the world’s largest sukkah, sponsored by the Jerusalem municipality.

7. For the strictly ecologically-minded, walk through the green space across from the Jerusalem Theater on Chopin Street (it’s known locally as the chursha) and spot the simple sukka amongst the trees.

Sukka in a Jerusalem park (photo credit: Judy Lash Balint)

Sukka in a Jerusalem park (photo credit: Judy Lash Balint)

8. For a change of pace, walk down Emek Refaim or the Ben Yehuda Street pedestrian mall in the center of town–almost every restaurant and cafe has its own sukka. Back when the kosher Burger King was in business this was one of the best Kodak moments…

Sukka in front of kosher Burger King (photo credit: Judy Lash Balint)

Sukka in front of kosher Burger King (photo credit: Judy Lash Balint)

Apt Balcony Sukkah (photo credit: Judy Lash Balint)

Apt Balcony Sukkah (photo credit: Judy Lash Balint)

9. End your Sukka tour with a stroll through the mostly orthodox neighborhoods of Geula and the Bukharan Quarter. Keep your eyes wide open and look up as you meander through the back alleys. Even the tiniest apartment will have a sukka perilously perched on the balcony.




10. Oh, don't miss the yurt sukkah on Zichron Tuvia Street in the funky, mostly religious neighborhood of Nachlaot.

Funky Sukkah Nachlaot Photo- Lisa Richlen

Funky Sukkah Nachlaot Photo- Lisa Richlen

11. And, yes, you might just see a sukka at your bus stop too…

Bus stop sukka (photo credit: Judy Lash Balint)

Bus stop sukka (photo credit: Judy Lash Balint)

12. Anyone for the Loading Zone Sukkah?

Loading Zone Sukka (photo credit: Judy Lash Balint)

Loading Zone Sukka (photo credit: Judy Lash Balint)

All photos (except where noted) © Judy Lash Balint. All rights reserved.

Judy Lash Balint

Judy Lash Balint is a Jerusalem-based freelance writer. She is author of Jerusalem Diaries: In Tense Times and Jerusalem Diaries: What's Really Happening in Israel. Judy hosted the Jerusalem Diaries Show on VoiceofIsrael.com and is currently a staff member at a leading Jerusalem think tank. Her articles have appeared in publications worldwide.


Recommended for you:



GET READY FOR THE CHAGIM WITH RECIPES FROM ISRAEL

image

Download our cookbook for more Rosh HaShanah recipes today!

➥ Back to TheBlog@IsraelForever ➥

Tags: Judy Lash Balint, Sukkot, Holidays, Am Yisrael, Tradition, Arts and Culture, Chaggim


Comment on Facebook

Leave a comment on Israel Forever

You Type You See
*italics* italics
**bold** bold
[ask google](http://google.com) ask google
+ item 1
+ item 2
+ item 3
  • item 1
  • item 2
  • item 3
> a really cool quote from a nice person
a really cool quote from a nice person

* Required information

Preview

VCI

Stay Connected

Follow us on:

Join Israel Forever

Contribute

Your tax-deductible contribution enables us to develop unique programs toward building understanding, respect, pride and involvement with Israel.

Contribute Today

Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Site Map

Copyright © 2017 · The Israel Forever Foundation
1146 19th Street NW · Fifth Floor · Washington, DC 20036

Powered by ARCOS Design by Plus Three