MJTI’s Sukkah-Building Guide

Chag sameach! It’s Sukkot – the Feast of Booths. You’ve probably seen people building their sukkahs (booths) or built one yourself. If you want to build one yourself but don’t know how, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to MJTI’s Sukkah-Building Guide.

1. Build the walls. You can build 2.5, 3, or 4 walls. You can use anything you want to build your sukkah, except anything that comes from an animal. Remember that during Sukkot, your sukkah is technically your home! You’ll want to make it sturdy. Most people eat at least one meal a day in their sukkah, and some people even sleep in it.

2. Build the roof (sechach). The sechach should be built from natural tree branches, leaves, or bamboo. You’ll want to cover enough of the roof so that it creates shade, but keep it a little spaced out so you can still see the stars. Make sure your sukkah is under the open sky, so there are no canopies, overhanging branches, etc., overhead. If your sukkah is large, it’s okay to used unfinished wood beams to create a frame for your sechach to rest on.

3. The fun step – decoration! Since people typically eat at least a daily meal in the sukkah, so set up tables and chairs. Don’t forget some kind of lighting – just make sure it’s weatherproof. Also, because of the flammable nature of the roof and/or walls, candles or open flames are not recommended. Typical sukkah decorations are paper chains, banners, and seven particular species of fruit: grapes, pomegranates, figs, dates, olives, wheat, and barley. Pomegranates or dates are especially popular. Fruit-themed decorations can be real, artificial, or just art – get creative with it! If you have children, make sure to include them in sukkah decorating with fun crafts. Keep your eyes peeled for a special MJTI post about that later in the week.

4. Prepare a place for the etrog and lulav where it will be protected from the elements.

5. Invite guests! It’s a mitzvah (commandment) to have guests in your sukkah. Eat a delicious meal under the sky and enjoy all the hard work you’ve done to make an amazing sukkah!

For more Sukkot articles, check out our post on the Four Species and our Sukkot Recipes.

This post was written by MJTI Academic Dean Rabbi Dr. Vered Hillel.

Explore our blog:

When Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place…

…step out in the promises of God! MJTI Registrar Rabbi Michael Hillel looks at this week’s parasha, Beshalach.

A Reflection on Divine Authority

Rabbi Michael Hillel shares recent insights from a study on Luke 20:1-8 and how Yeshua’s authority manifests across several Biblical narratives.

The Story Behind the Posner Menorah

Have you seen the iconic photo of a Hanukkah menorah defiantly in the window across from a Nazi flag? Dr. Stan Meyer shares its inspiring story.

Light Over Might

It can be difficult to examine the Hanukkah narrative to understand some of the more challenging elements. This week, Rabbi Saal takes a look.

Vayeshev: The Winding Road to Messiah

How are we supposed to feel in the face of betrayal and disappointment? Rabbi Elliot Klayman breaks down Parasha Vayeshev.

Favor Elevates Its Giver

This week’s parasha sees Jacob reuniting with his estranged brother. What can this unlikely reconciliation show us about our relationships today?

Vayeitzei: The Continuing Journey

The patriarchal narrative continues in this week’s parasha, Vayeitzei (Genesis 28:10 – 32:3). We find Jacob on his way tp Haran, seemingly in an attempt to get away from his justifiably-angry elder twin brother Esau, after Jacob had stolen Esau's blessing from their...

Sholem Asch: Introducing Jews to the Rabbi from Nazareth

November, 1880: Sholem Asch, the Jewish author, was born. Dr. Stan Meyer takes a look at his life and the impact he still has on our world today.

The Path Behind and the Road Ahead: A New Journey

The High Holidays are behind us for another year. We have travelled God’s way in those marathon weeks, and it may be tempting for us to settle back into a comfortable, mindless rhythm until Chanukah starts at the end of November. However, from shofar blowing and...

The Libyan Donkey Overturns the Golden Lamp

Rabbi Klayman draws on his decades as an attorney to examine this Talmudic narrative on bribery and its damaging effects on the judicial system.

Pin It on Pinterest