Chol Hamoed Entertainment
By Live Your BIL | September 22, 2020
Lockdown over Succos?? Don’t worry! We have you covered! Here are some ideas for Chol Hamoed activities. Also, check out our article on how to make Yom Tov in quarantine, as well as our comprehensive Succos shopping list!
- Paint Night: order a DIY paint night and break out the canvases!
- Scavenger Hunt: Look online for all sorts of Grocery store scavenger hunts. Try to find exotic items or Sukkos themed stuff!
- “Chopped” Competition: Use any leftovers or interesting ingredients for a competition. You make up the rules and may the best food win!
- Socially Distant Sukkah Hop: Visit neighbors or anyone within radius for a socially distant sukkah visit.
- Crazy Walk: Go on a walk but make up some fun rules! Examples: only go down streets that have certain colors on it; go down any street that looks empty; make a right and left every couple of feet, no matter where you are! Be creative!
- Game Night: Monopoly is not just for kids! Borrow, buy or find any games that are available. Make some popcorn, drinks, and play the night away!
- Kumsitz: Open your windows, turn up the music, and belt out those tunes with your neighbors!
No matter what you end up doing, realize that it’s all part of the fun! Even if this year is the first year without going to the zoo, fun can be found anywhere!
Any Yom Tov can be overwhelming… but Succos is in its own overwhelming category. Shlepping everything outside, upstairs, downstairs, and back in requires planning, organization, and shopping in advance. Liveyourbil.com has amassed a comprehensive shopping list to help take the stress out of shopping. This list has everything you may need for Succos, including items for the succah. Use this list and be confident in your organizational skills! Wishing you a happy and meaningful Sukkos from the Liveyourbil.com family!
Succos in Israel
By Faige Herman | September 30, 2020
For those who may be spending Sukkos in Yerushalayim for the first time, here are some important things about building a Sukkah to keep in mind as the Yom Tov approaches.
In order to build a Sukkah, you need to have a place to build it. For some, this is a non-issue, as their apartment has a mirpeset that allows for a sukkah. Others may have a retractable roof, which in that case, no need to build a sukkah, all is needed is Schach and the sukkah is ready to go. (In case your roof is retractable, realize that if it rains then your house will get wet. The best way to prep for that is to cover any beds you may have set up or anything else that is not waterproof with plastic table clothes – and make sure to have some spare sponja clothes to mop up the water).
Yet, many people do not have a mirpeset or retractable roof and if you fall in that category, you need to ensure you have a place to build your sukkah. In many buildings, there are reserved spots so do not assume you can build anywhere. Unfortunately, there can be a lot of machlokes over sukkah spots. In general, there are two different schools of thought, some buildings go with the idea that the sukkah spot comes with the dira, while others hold that whoever moved in first gets the next available spot. It is important to clarify what your building does in order to know if you have a place to build a sukkah. It could be that things are grey in that area, but remember that it’s motzie Yom Kippur and it may not be worth getting off on the wrong foot with your new neighbor.
With all the above in mind, there are basically two places to build a sukkah, on the roof, or the parking lot. In general, unless you are on a low floor, the roof is a better option. The roof provides a cool breeze, fewer cats to worry about, and more privacy. If you are on a low floor and plan to build on the parking lot, locate a shady spot, as parking lots tend to get very hot and uncomfortable.
Now that you have a place to build a sukkah, what do you need to build one, and how can you be cost-effective? Canvas sukkahs tend to be cheaper than buying boards but it also depends on what stringencies you hold by. Many people try selling their sukkahs so before purchasing new boards or sukkahs, keep your eyes open, or you can ask any groups you are on, and you will be surprised, but some people have extra boards or canvas sukkah. If you are only going to be here short term, there is also the possibility of renting a sukkah, although it does not seem to be cost-effective from the rentals that I have checked. If you are looking to purchase a new sukkah, or sukkah boards and schach, there are many sales around the greater Ramat Eshkol area, for example on Vitznitz in Sanhedria Murchevet, which will actually custom make boards for you. They also have keter tables, chairs, and sukkah lighting and fake grass for the floor of your sukkah for good prices. Standard six-foot table costs around 200 NIS, four keter chairs for 100 NIS, lighting, and grass depends on quality. You will also need extension cords to hook up lighting and duct tape to hold the cords in place. But around sukkos, many people will sell this stuff used and you can get it for much cheaper. You may also need a staple gun and drill, but most people will be happy to lend you theirs, so you probably will not need to stomach that cost.
Decorating does a lot for your sukkah and also gets you into the spirit of the Yom Tov. If you are artistic, a great way to decorate is to paint a mural for your sukkah. You can buy cheap paint on Bar Ilan at the art store there. If you are trying to go for a classier look, or if your sukkah is canvas, hanging glass or plastic ornaments with flowers placed inside from the bamboo creates a beautiful look for your sukkah. You can get ornaments like this at different stores around Bar Ilan area, or you can spend a little more at the art store located near the bus stop on Bar Ilan.
No matter where your sukkah ends up being, or how it ends up looking, enjoy the special atmosphere of Sukkos in Yerushalayim. There is nothing like seeing Sukkah in every corner and watching the entire Yerushalayim getting ready for this special holiday together.
Make Your Succa Beautiful
By Malka Levin | September 30, 2020
Another lockdown is facing us – but this time let’s be ready to face it! While you’ve probably figured out how to shop and make appointments during Lockdown, there’s still one big factor to take into account! Boredom! Especially those of us with children at home, it’s hard to keep busy and productive every day. While I’m sure there’s enough technical stuff to keep you busy – like scrubbing your showers or visiting the cracks between your couch cushions – you might be looking for more fun and enjoyable activities to keep you and your family occupied. Since Sukkos is around the corner, and I’m sure heavy on your mind, here are some practical tips to enhance your Sukkah and keep your whole family busy until the Chag arrives.
Sukkah decorations can really make your entire holiday. It’s where you are going to be spending the next seven days, so make sure you are really going to enjoy it! And remember, whatever work you put in now will pay off for years to come, when each year you can just pull readymade crafts out of a box and hang them up.
The first step is to choose a theme. Decide if you want a minimalist modern look, a warm homey feel, a colorful look, etc. Then sit down with your kids (or yourself!) and start creating!
I get most of my supplies from Birkat David art store on Bar Ilan 8. They happen to be open during the lockdown, and they also do deliveries! They answer WhatsApp’s pretty quickly at +972 50-910-6754 (though you really have to be able to squeeze out a bit of Hebrew.) Plus they really have anything you can dream of to make crafts. What more can you ask for?
For a minimalist look, you can buy a selection of fake flowers, or many different sizes of mirrors and wooden boards to glue them onto. If you happen to have a Gedolim calendar or one with pretty Judaic art, you can cut those pictures out for a clean, beautiful addition. Birkat David and many other stores also carry small string lights, or a string of light bulbs which give a classy, modern touch.
If you’re going for a colorful vibe, they have all different kinds of fancy paper for chains, glitter, sequins, markers and stickers, and of course canvases with paints.
Your child may not have come home with crafts this year due to the Israeli shut down of Gan and school, so why not let them go crazy! A simple craft idea is to let your children paint a canvas or paper however they like, using sponges, brushes, or even their fingers. When it’s dry, and add the names of the Ushpizin, or “Bruchim Haba’im” on top for a stunning finished product.
To give a homey feel to your Sukkah, you might want to cover your walls with material. You can find cloth in many shops between the Yaffo and Hadavidka train stops.
To hang the material, make sure you have a straight edge of your cloth, and start by stapling at one corner of your Sukkah with a staple gun. Make sure to pull the cloth tight, so it doesn’t sag or get uneven. To preserve your Sukkah walls, make sure to staple only on the thick poles, and not on the thin wood of your boards. When you get to your windows, try cutting just around the two sides and the bottom, to create a curtain. This way you can pin it up for some light, or let it fall down if you’re looking for a bit of privacy. You can also cut a slit up the middle to make two separate curtains to pull to the sides. This is sure to give your Sukkah a warm and cozy atmosphere.
If you’re looking to finish off your Sukkah with some readymade decorations, Osher Ad has a large selection to choose from. You can also find some in many other large stores like Shaarei Revacha, or even Yesh and Pyup.
I’m sure you’ll know what I’m talking about when I mention the large Sukkos pop up shop at the corner of Bar Ilan Shmuel Hanavi. Besides for boards and Schach, you can purchase a readymade tarp with an old Israeli scene, or a life-size print of the western wall. This makes for beautiful decor without any artistic efforts on your part.
Even though it hasn’t rained in months here, we often get a friendly surprise on Sukkos, so be sure to laminate any nice crafts you have. Even printouts or calendar cut-outs can easily be saved from year to year with this extra precaution. There’s still a printing shop open called Grapchik on Yirmiyahu 46, that should be able to get the job done. They can be reached at +972 2-500-2321 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whichever direction you choose, decorating your Sukkah can be a fun bonding experience, that is truly productive. The more effort and care you put in, the more you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labor. Your own unique style and taste is what gives it the best feeling. So trust yourself, and have a good time! Chag Someach!