Sukkot is a time for reflection and merriment. It is celebrated with the building of a Sukkah, which is a beautiful wooden structure adorned in colorful chains, decorations, and harvest bounty. The Mount Holyoke Jewish Student Union annually observes Sukkot, also know as Zman Simchatenu, or "season of our joy," by building the Sukkah. This act evokes memory of the experiences of the Jewish people wandering in the desert for 40 years, as well as celebrates the harvest's bounty and the provision of the Earth. It is a holiday of celebration in the wake of the Jewish High Holidays of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashannah, which emphasize soul-searching and reflection.
The building of the Sukkah is inherently an act of accepting the condition of impermanence, as beautifully crafted decorations are exposed to the natural elements, and participants are reminded that we are all wanderers. This process of construction, decoration, and dwelling in the Sukkah is seen as a mitzvah in itself, meaning a fulfillment of duty as declared by the Torah. In some ways it is symbolic of the temporality of life and the importance of enjoying the process, or perhaps to journey, so to speak.