How Sukkah Soul Came to Be
While studying at the Melton Jewish adult education program, my study partners and I were given the assignment to research Kohelet (Ecclesiastes). Learning that Kohelet is traditionally read during Sukkot, we decided to put up a sukkah at the holiday and study in it together. One of us had a sukkah kit, without instructions, and many unmarked pieces of wood and building connectors form a hardware store. It was like a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzles. We tried to image how it was supposed to go together, using the available pieces. We added additional pieces of wood to stabilize, so-to-speak, the structure. Under the sukkah, which was anything but attractive, we read Kohelet.
I looked forward to continuing this yearly tradition, but I thought I could make a better sukkah. The design problem captured my imagination.
I also learned at Melton that the Rabbis explained Exodus 15:2 to mean there is an obligation to beautify the commandment, hiddur mitzvah. Not only should the decorations of the sukkah beautify, I felt the sukkah itself could be beautiful.
I researched Sukkot and read about the association of Sukkot with the Kabbalistic imagery of the Sefirot, the ten manifestations, as it were, of Godliness. I found this in the traditional prayer book. the triangular forms of the sukkah took shape from the avenues of connection I saw within the Sefirot.
I designed the sukkah combining my love of design with my love of Judaism and started Sukkah Soul.