We would like to take a moment to commend the Lory Student Center Board of Governors for allowing the Chabad to keep their sukkah (pronounced sue-kah) on the plaza for the entire eight days of Sukkot (pronounced Sue-COAT).
Sukkot is the Jewish harvest festival that falls in late September or early October. The Jewish calendar runs on the lunar calendar, which is why the date changes.
The best way to explain the holiday to someone who has never celebrated Sukkot before is that it is like Thanksgiving, in the way that both are meant to show thanks for the harvest at hand.
While celebrating Sukkot, a sukkah is built under which participants eat, sleep and shake the lulav (loo-lahv) and etrog (eet-rog).
The sukkah is a hut that has three walls covered in materials that cannot be blown away and a roof made of organic material (bamboo, tree branches, two by fours, etc.) that is not tied down and placed loosely enough for rain to fall in and stars to be seen through.
A lulav is created out of a palm branch, a myrtle branch and a willow branch. When the lulav is brought together with the etrog (a lemon-like citrus fruit native to Israel) the combination known as the arba minim (literally four species in Hebrew) is shaken in all directions. The shaking of the arba minim fulfills a mitzvah (good deed pronounced mit-tz-vah).
So, put on your yarmulke, grab a snack and head out to the sukkah while you still can; Sukkot ends at sundown today.
Chag Sameach (Happy Holiday pronounced Haag Sah-may-ach).