Why do we bring huge jars of honey into our Sukkahs?

During the holiday of Sukkot, the Sukkah is supposed to be our home for the week. As such, we must decorate it. I am here to help make the task of decorating easier. I shall share with you the ubiquitous Sukkah decorations that I have seen in every community and some new ideas that will help you bring more festivity to your holiday.

Before you do anything, make sure you have a lot of fishing wire. We are going to be hanging stuff.

Top Sukkah Decorations:

Fly Tape

Every Sukkah I have seen has fly tape on it. This is to attract bugs. Don’t worry. You don’t have to place flies on the tape for décor. The flies will come. Just give it an evening.

Honey Bucket with Opening

As bees are not attracted to fly tape, many people hang this to draw more bees into their Sukkah.

Some are afraid that the bees will get to the honey on the Challah. Thus, they hang a huge jar of honey in their Sukkah. This ensures that the swarms of bees that come to the home have a place of their own.

Christmas Lights

No Sukkah is fully decorated until the Christmas lights are up. Jews don’t purchase Christmas products, until after Christmas, when they go on sale. Then, the Hershey’s Kisses with the red silver foil is a Jewish product. It’s kosher after all.

I picked these lights up in the religious area of Meah Shearim. In Israel we celebrate Christmas in the fall. I say, what us religious Jews don’t know shouldn’t hurt us. If you look close enough, you can see that the guy with the red hat has a long white beard. That’s Jewish to me.

Fruit

Known as the Holiday of Harvest, fruit and vegetables are very important to Sukkot. But it is Jewish custom only to eat fruit if it’s in pie form. Thus, instead of eating fruit, we celebrate the harvest by hanging it.

Gourds

I have no idea when gourds became a decoration. They are the ugliest fruits. Pumpkins would make sense, but Halloween claimed those. Hence, we stick to the weird shaped stuff.

The Ushpizin Poster

Many people have posters containing the text for inviting our forefathers to the Sukkah, along with pictures of them. I’m pretty sure people didn’t have camera phones back in the days of Abraham, so I’m not sure where these pictures are coming from. I’m guessing Abraham never took a selfie with Avimelech.

I don’t know if I would suggest this as a decoration because if Abraham were to actually take us up on our invitations and show up, he might be offended by the artist’s depiction of him. For example, I have been to many Bar Mitzvahs, and I cannot tell you how many times I got in a fight with the guy drawing the cartoonish pictures of people. My ears are big, but they overdo it. I feel like they are using their art to mock me.

Your Child’s Art from School That You Would Like to Throw Out

Have no room in the house for the hand-paint art project? I mean, the painting of your child’s hand. The work of art where your child put their hands in paint and then placed their hand on a piece of paper. Want to throw that out? Put it in the Sukkah. After Sukkot, you can say you lost it.

Recycling

Recycling is a virtue. Even so, many of us have no idea what to do with the old plastic bags, shoelaces and single sock that doesn’t have a hole in it. Decorate the Sukkah with your recyclables and let the world know that you don’t waste. You still have the tape deck, right? There is a decoration. Why not give your Sukkah an ‘80s theme? Got the rhinestone jean jacket? Hang it on the wall. Remember, be creative. And that means your decorations should be anything you should’ve thrown out twenty years ago.

In other words, the Sukkah should look like a Jewish hoarder’s museum

A Painting

Most people decorate their homes with a nice painting so why not bring the Van Gough to the Sukkah.

That was a joke. Tradition is to decorate with plastic replicas of poor art. This makes it more traditional. The Van Gough might not hold up so well in the rain.

Any Jewish Arts and Crafts Project

You have no idea what to use it for. That, my friends, is a Sukkah decoration.

The Chanukah candle holder slab of wood with nuts on it? It was fun when you made it, but it doesn’t look like a Chanukiah and it doesn’t hold candles. Hang it from your Sukkah. The cloth that you knitted together to hold the Matzah on Passover? That is was a cute idea, until the matzah caught onto the cloth and I ended up eating the felt. Again, a perfect decoration.

Paper Chain

The classic. The number two Sukkah decoration, right behind the creepy fruit of the Lagenaria and Cucurbita family with bumps on it.

The way to make the paper chain is to cut the paper in strips and then to put one circle in the other. That, my students, is Jewish origami. Jewish origami is similar to regular origami. However, we use staples. We are not fools. It is much easier with staples. I am surprised the people of the Far East haven’t figured that out yet.

Paper That Opens

Any paper that is flat and then becomes three-D when accordionized, that is a decoration. You might have to wait till after Easter to pick these up.

Tiki Torches

You’re outside, in the garden, make it a party. Lighting some tiki torches is the perfect way to burn down the other decorations. You can call it an accident when your child’s arts and crafts project is finally gone.

7 Species of Israel

Please do not be confused: this is not species of the animal kingdom. These are Israel’s seven species of vegetation, and a beautiful way to traditionally adorn your Sukkah. Do not decorate you Sukkah with living animals. The only animals you should be decorating your Sukkah with are dead flies and bees.

One more thing: no matter what you chose to decorate your Sukkah with, first see what your children bring home from Jewish School. You might want to hang that in the Sukkah. You will probably not want it in the house.