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The Sukkot Ritual That Meant Everything to Me

Growing up, my family loved to celebrate the holidays. Jewish, non-Jewish, it didn’t seem to matter. I delighted in making my own Halloween costumes and Valentine’s Day cards.  We decorated the house with flags every year on the 4th of July, ate cherry jelly candy on Washington’s Birthday, and looked forward to my mom’s boiled cabbage and corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day, when we all wore green, of course.

There were huge family dinners on Rosh Hashanah and on Passover. I looked forward to dressing up as Queen Esther on Purim. My father’s pride and joy was our backyard sukkah, and each year I held the stakes as he wrapped them in burlap and watched as he threw cornstalks across the roof.