Sukkot, the Jewish Festival of Booths, will begin next week and many Jews all over the world are starting to think about building their sukkah. While intended to imitate a natural makeshift shelter and honor certain forms of plant life, sukkot are often decorated with plastic ornaments and other non-eco-friendly items. Sue Tourkin Komet, based in Jerusalem, shows us that it doesn’t have to be that way. You can integrate upcycled and recycled elements into your sukkah (and perhaps even fully create it out of them).
Sue’s model sukkah (pictured above), called Sukkat HaAliyot, submitted last year to a competition at Beit Avi Chai in Jerusalem, is as full of re-purposed items as it is full of personal symbolism for the artist. No material was too odd, no material too foreign. The Toblerone chocolate packaging somehow fits in with the flags, photos, and leg braces.
In Sue’s own words, she wanted “to build a model out of recycled materials, with chen [grace] and koach [power]. To build a light-weight model, to make life easier on me, and ‘for fun.’ To build a living creation, which raises questions, irony, and humor – a small, home-museum.”
Regarding the process of collecting materials and building her sukkah, Sue writes that “all in all – I felt a yad elyon – a Higher Hand – insofar as tzchotzkes (random materials) which I needed and lacked suddenly showed up on the street or in a desk drawer.” And she’s probably right – often we don’t need to go out and consume additional resources. What we need usually surrounds us.
So for those of you about to build or decorate your sukkot, think re-purposed, reused, recycled, and most of all – think creatively.
Read more about Sukkot::
“Ye Shall Live in Booths” And Be With Nature During Sukkot
Luna Park, Greenpeace and Junktion Studio Go Green on Sukkot
Annual Green Sukkah Conference Taking Place Again in Kibbutz Ein Shemer