Shemini Atzeret, and tomorrow evening is the festival of Simchat Torah, according to Jewish customs.
This afternoon, a group of Occupiers and their allies filled the #OccupyPortland community sukkah for a joyous celebration of the week of Sukkot. We are privileged to have Rabbah D'vorah Kolodny, from P'nai Or of Portland, to lead the festivity. Even as we went through the various songs and mitzvot of Sukkot, the sukkah drew people in -- some without any clue as for what we were doing -- and several passers-by were busy photographing this amazing spectacle of a massive sukkah in the heart of downtown Portland, with a vibrant celebration in songs.
It has become pretty clear to us during this celebration, through conversations, that the sukkah has become a de facto spiritual center of #OccupyPortland. Aside from the "All-Denomination Church Area" sign put up by Wayne (to keep new tents from encroaching upon the sukkah), people of all or no religious faiths have been naturally drawn to this area for meditation, contemplation, and for just a quiet time away from the noises and actions of the movement.
The whole #OccupyPortland community is, I believe, appreciative of all the efforts put together by Sara Hope and her friends -- as well as Kernel (aka Moses) and an army of volunteers he recruited -- to make this possible.
The sukkah will be kept as it is for time being, although s'chach that has been s'chaccupying will soon be removed for fire safety and in order to make the roof stronger and more rain-proof in preparation for the coming rainy and windy days.
True to the tradition of Judaism, the sukkah is a symbol of hospitality.
We request that all Occupiers of the #OccupyPortland community to respect the sanctity and intentions of this area.