The holiday of Sukkot is a reminder to us of the temporary nature of the world and our lives, in particular, our homes. Without access to safe, fair, affordable housing, a person also does not have access to quality food, public transportation, or education. At its core, Sukkot is a holiday that forces us to think about the places we reside and the spaces we occupy. Below you will find Jewish sources from the Torah, the Prophets, and the Talmud examining the intersections of Sukkot and housing justice.
“Sukkot and Housing Justice 5784” is a downloadable guide to help us explore issues of housing justice during Sukkot. The guide is divided into two distinct sections. The first section delves into the differences between a permanent home and a temporary dwelling. The second section explores a specific rabbinic ruling forbidding the use of a stolen lulav (a ritual object used on Sukkot made up of date palm, myrtle, and willow). The sources are meant to be used as a “grab bag” (in other words, use the ones that resonate with you and leave behind the ones you do not connect with). Many of the sources have guiding questions to help you understand and dive deeper into what the text is trying to say.
As you navigate these sources, we hope that you begin to think about what makes a home; our responsibility to create safe, fair, and affordable housing; and the reasons that the holiday of Sukkot may force us to grapple with housing justice.