This morning was a sad morning - we packed up the SukkahCycle and bid it farewell until next Sukkot.
Perhaps you heard my glee in explaining that fifty SukkahCycles were manufactured this year and sold around the world. Forty nine went to Chabad centers in various cities and on campus. And, one SukkahCycle went to a Conservative Synagogue… in Harrison, New York. If you didn’t see the contraption – our SukkahCycle is a custom-built adult tricycle with a platform on the back, large enough to hold a ritually-correct Sukkah. Ours was complete with side paneling identifying the Cycle as belonging to our synagogue and even included plastic hanging fruit decorations, courtesy of the JCCH Sukkah decorating-team.
So, how did we use our Cycle? First, it arrived Kol Nidrei morning and immediately took an honored place in the synagogue main lobby – behind velvet ropes, of course - a hint that the celebratory days of Sukkot and Simchat Torah were coming after the more serious and solemn Yom Kippur. For Sukkot itself, the Cycle came to all of the big Sukkot dinner events. Dozens of our ECC and Hebrew School-aged kids rode on and climbed in the Sukkah. It fits five it turns out – of our smallest kids. The Cycle came over to our home for the various Sukkot events there and then, on Monday and Tuesday of the festival, we took it on the road. The Cycle visited the Schechter and Carmel Jewish day schools, in White Plains and Greenwich respectively, delighting students and teachers, alike. And,on “It’s Great to Live in Harrison” Day, the Cycle joined the parade. I enjoyed a gentle downhill ride and was thrilled when Cantor Singer and Marty Rogowsky agreed to take over when the road turned uphill – it turns out that the Cycle is NOT
particularly aerodynamic. We parked the Cycle at our JCCH table during the fair in the center of town, creating quite a spectacle. Finally, the Cycle made its last appearance during Simchat Torah Hakafot, bringing smiles to all as we celebrated a beautiful holiday season together.
Why a SukkahCycle? Because 21st Century Judaism has to be dynamic, exciting, creative and – let’s not forget - fun. If Jewish life is to be lived beyond the walls of our synagogue, I/we have to present it in a compelling way. And, since Sukkot is intended to be a holiday spent outdoors, what better way to do so that in an outdoor-friendly contraption such as this! A member of our synagogue suggested that we rename it “The Soul Cycle,” instead of SukkahCycle – I like it!
It turns out that a kit is available to turn the SukkahCycle into a MenorahMobile. Want to bet on it making an appearance here in Harrison? I would!
Warmest wishes to all.