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Sukkah for Sukkot

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Editor’s Note: The lede has been updated from the original version.

Underneath the bamboo covering and within the white tarp walls, second year student Yoni Banar eats his self-blessed food inside the sukkah hut built at Rocky Young Park.

On Thursday, Oct. 10, The Chabad at Pierce club built the bamboo covered hut at Rocky Young Park to celebrate Sukkot, a Jewish holiday that goes from Oct. 13 to Oct. 20. 

Sukkot represents the traditional story of the Jewish exodus from Egypt. Sukkahs were built from materials found in the desert. 

Chabad Club member David Tahoor explained that the four-day construction of the 10-by-20-foot sukkah hut was built with help from students.

“Since we built this on campus during school hours, we gave a lot of people the opportunity to come help and a lot of students did, so it was really nice,” Tahoor said.

Since their financial meeting was scheduled on Yom Kippur, a Jewish holiday where work and the use of technology are forbidden, the club had to reschedule and use money out-of-pocket from individual club members to build the sukkah. They are hoping to be reimbursed with ASO funds.

Banar was glad to have the opportunity to express his religious practice on campus. 

“Since I didn’t get to do it at home, I was able to do it here today, so it’s a huge privilege to have that at school, the religious freedom,” Banar said.

Traditionally, religious participants of the holiday eat their meals inside the hut and sometimes sleep inside it.

President of Chabad at Pierce Gaby Mahgerefteh said that last year the club only had permission for one day out of the week-long holiday. 

“Having it up this year the entire time is really great,” Mahgerefteh said. “It means a lot that the Jews going in there, sitting and eating, actually have a place that they can go and eat for the holiday.”

This year, the hut is accessible for 10 days and will be deconstructed by Oct. 23.