An East Coast rabbi is putting a modern spin on an ancient religious celebration and bringing Sukkot – commemoration of a time when the Jewish people wandered the desert after their exile from Egypt – to Lamorinda Jews who may not have time or space to build the sukkah, or wooden shed, needed to celebrate.
During Sukkot, Rabbi Israel Labkowski tells us, Jews traditionally build temporary wooden structures outside called sukkahs, which signify the huts their ancestors lived in during their time in the desert. As part of the holiday, people are required to eat in the Sukkah.
But for many people, especially in the East Bay according to Rabbi Labkowski, building a sukkah is not always feasible – and “that’s where the Sukkah Mobile comes in.”
The Sukkah Mobile is a pick-up truck with a wooden hut in the vehicle’s bed. The sides read “Welcome to the Sukkah Mobile, Chabad of LaMorinda wishes you a happy Sukkot” and, staffed with young men and boys, the Sukkah Mobile offers “A Sukkah on the spot for people on on the go..”
It’s a place for people to eat and pray during Sukkot.
So far the rabbis and volunteers have stopped at the BART station, various local businesses, and “dozens of private homes.” As with most forward-thinking enterprises these days, there’s a social media aspect to the outreach, with pictures of celebrants posting on their Facebook page.
Rabbi Labkowski invites all to visit them at Chabad of Lamorinda to shake the Lulav and Etrog or call to schedule them for a visit to your home or office, at 925-384-7242 or email firstname.lastname@example.org