From Zero to Sukkah: Your Complete Guide to Sukkot Prep.

The days between Yom Kippur and Sukkot buzz with a whirlwind of activity. The Midrash paints an unmistakable picture: the Jewish community, a hive of mitzvah-doers, has each person diving into their tasks with gusto. One is up on a ladder, hammer in hand, assembling their Sukkah . Another is at the market, sifting through lulavs , binding them with care. Pre-festival hustle is in the air, and everyone is caught up in that joyous chaos of preparing for Sukkot.

But what exactly does that look like? Fear not. Dive into our ultimate guide on how to prepare for Sukkot:

Timing Is Everything: When to Start Building Your Sukkah

Yom Kippur's over, and the only thing quicker than chowing down that post-fast bagel is the traditional family race to build (or, more realistically, to discuss how to build) a Sukkah. And this is no time for delegation. Building a Sukkah is a mitzvah in and of itself, so we perform it ourselves, where possible, as soon as Yom Kippur is over.

But that doesn’t mean that Sukkah-building has to be a hassle. You’re probably thinking:

“My balcony’s the size of a postage stamp, where can I fit my Sukkah?”

“I’m lost in the DIY Sukkah jungle. How do I start building my DIY Sukkah?”

“My garden is perfect for gnomes, but seems too small for a proper Sukkah , I need a custom size!

“I only have an hour spare, can I even build a Sukkah that quickly?

“I’m hitting the road this Sukkot – I can’t build a Sukkah, can I?”

Fear not, fellow Sukkah-builders! We've got guides for cramped spaces, creative constructions, quick builds, travelers , and much more. Check out our comprehensive guides on:

  1. Buying the Perfect Sukkah Kit: Our Sukkah Options Explained

  2. How a Custom Sukkah Can Transform Your Sukkot Experience

  3. Sukkot in Small Places: Your Guide to Building a Balcony Sukkah

  4. DIY Sukkah Project Guide: Sukkot on a Budget

  5. What is a Pop Up Sukkah?

The Four Kinds: Avoiding Holiday Hassles

Sukkot 2024 ’s around the corner, and suddenly everyone's scrambling for the “ Four Kinds ” – also known as the arba minim. These fantastic four consists of: a palm frond ( lulav ), a pair of willows ( aravot ), at least three myrtles ( hadassim ) that would make a topiary artist jealous, and the star of the show – a citron ( etrog ), a citrus fruit that looks similar to a bumpy lemon .

Word to the wise – not all arba minim sets on the market are kosher , so instead of going to the black market to find some, we suggest consulting with your local Rabbi before purchasing.

Beyond the Sukkah: Sukkot Traditions

As Sukkot draws nearer and nearer, husbands usually go on the hunt for a holiday gift for their wives (usually an expedition to the jewelry store), as a small token of appreciation for all that holiday prep they put in.

Sukkot is also about Jewish unity – particularly, holding the Four Kinds together underlines the importance of Jewish unity, highlighting that at our core, we are all one. That's why another big tradition is to open up our Sukkahs and invite everyone over for festive meals – the more the merrier, right? So before Sukkot hits, dust off your guest list and start thinking about who you can guilt (we mean, generously invite) to join your Sukkah spectacular.

Sukkot Eve Essentials

Wondering if there’s any special  Sukkot eve prep.? Glad you asked. There is some special preparation for the evening of Sukkot, but don't worry, it's not all about stressing over burnt brisket (although, pro-tip: don't burn the brisket).

Here's your simple guide to getting ready on Sukkot eve. in a snap:

  • Charity Extravaganza: Because true joy is like pizza – it's better shared. So, we open our wallets and hearts before Sukkot starts.

  • “Species Assemble!”: Time to wrangle those Four Species – ideally you’d bind your lulav , hadassim , and aravot together in the Sukkah, but if you’re running short on time, or aren’t sure how to, your friendly neighborhood arba minim dealer or Rabbi can do this for you.

  • Sukkot on Wednesday Night: If Sukkot falls on a Wednesday, there's a special eruv tavshilin, that also needs to be prepared before Sukkot begins.

  • Light Up the Sukkah : Women and girls are on candle-lighting duty, showering the Sukkah with a warm glow (weather permitting, of course).

So there you have it! From Sukkah -building strategies that won't make you want to tear your hair out, to ditching any last minute lulav scrambling, this guide is your Sukkot prep. cheat sheet so you can relax as you head into Sukkot 2024 !