It seems the more advanced the world becomes, the more revolutionary the sukkah becomes. Building a sukkah is a subversive act for someone with an iPhone and iPad: to go out to nature, to take wooden boards, to combine them, to spread branches on top, to look for the four species, to sit outside around a table…
For many (like myself), the sukkah is an annual encounter with grass, the sun, the moon, and the ants. There is no app that can replace the real thing, the human senses – to take a hammer and nail, to smell an etrog, to look at the leaves of the hadassim up close, and, when we’re inside the sukkah, to lift our heads to check whether there’s more shade or light.
One of the famous questions Rabbi Nachman of Breslov asked his disciples was: “Did you look at the sky today?” As far back as 200 years ago, he already warned us not to run from the elevator to the office, from the parking lot to the shopping mall, without lifting our head up for a moment and reminding ourselves of the reality above the material world.
Sukkot is one week a year during which we do not have a choice but to do it – to leave the screen for the schach. Chag same’ach!