S'mores, Stars, and Sukkot Haley Archer-McClellan '15

In middle of October, we celebrated Sukkot, the weeklong holiday festival during the Hebrew month of Tishrei. Many students met to help build the Sukkah and decorate it with branches, leaves and gourds. Later, many students came together to eat meals in the Sukkah.

While Sukkot is a festival holiday, it also memorializes the forty days and nights the people of Israel walked through the desert. The Sukkah, or "booth," symbolizes the huts built by the people of Israel while in the desert. A handful of students helped Hillel Advisory Board member Mitch Wapner build the Sukkah, using wooden beams, lattices and power tools. Using branches from Zach Dubit's family's pine trees, we then built a canopy and decorated the hut with pumpkins, gourds and corn. We invited friends into the Sukkah to share meals with us and held our annual Sukkot event, "S'mores, Stars and Sukkot," on the first night of the holiday. We built a campfire outside the Sukkah, roasted s'mores, talked and laughed, and stayed up long into the night with friends.

As Sukkot wore on, the trees surrounding the Sukkah began to turn from green to shades of yellow and red, matching the decorations of the hut itself. In spite of a few rainstorms, our handiwork paid off, and the Sukkah withstood the week, acting as shelter to many Washington and Lee students in the process.