Sukkot arrived on Oct. 2 and it was time to dwell in booths. At Sixth & I Synagogue, they were booking their sukkah by time slot. That way a person could shake a lulav and etrog, a central ritual of the holiday, while social distancing.
The Sixth & I sukkah’s theme was “Safe and Exposed,” said Communications Manager Michelle Eider, “to lift up questions and conversation around our responsibility to care for ourselves and others in the midst of radical uncertainty and unrest.”
At the Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, ViVi Rosen and her family had signed up for one of two sukkot. They were enjoying the Sunday afternoon doing art projects, having a snack, and shaking a lulav and etrog that an occupant of the other sukkah offered them.
“It’s not always possible in Montgomery County to build a sukkah,” said Cantor Rebecca Robbins, who had brought her lulav and etrog to Rosen’s sukkah. A lot of people live in apartments and don’t have room. “By the JCC creating this space, people can celebrate Sukkot either by enjoying the time together or by fulfilling the mitzvot.”
Still, across the Washington area, families spent the holiday in their own sukkot, greeting friends, sitting down to meals and enjoying the extraordinary weather.