Building a sukkah in Sheikh Jarrar, David Shulman, 22nd September 2010
It may sound unlikely, but we’re in ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan Street in Sheikh Jarrah and, together with Salah and other Palestinian friends from the neighborhood, we’re building a sukkah. The Sukkot holiday, my favorite, starts tonight. Religious Jews build little booths covered with palm fronds and eat and sleep in them for seven nights, a memory of the forty years of wandering in the desert and a reminder of the precariousness of all that exists, all that we value and love. You’re supposed to be able to see the stars through the fronds that provide a make-shift roof; honored guests, beginning with the Patriarchs and ending on day seven with King David, are invited to visit each day.
But why build one in Sheikh Jarrah, in the street where the al-Ghazi and al-Kurd houses have been taken over by Israeli settlers and the Palestinian owners driven out? Mr. Al-Kurd, dignified and calm as always, is watching over the construction…