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Sukkah, L.A. style

October 27, 2005|Helene Lesel

FALL is a season of harvests, Thanksgiving and, for some, the weeklong festival known as Sukkot, or Feast of the Tabernacles, a time to give thanks for autumn's bounty.

Celebrated in September or October, this Jewish holiday commemorates biblical times when Jews wandered the desert, living in simple huts. Modern representations of those huts, or sukkahs, are fashioned in all shapes and sizes, from the plain to the elaborate.

For the Heilperns of Westwood, who held a feast in their sukkah earlier this week, the design follows the latter. The Bible dictates that sukkah roofs are to be made of something grown in the ground and then harvested -- palm fronds, bamboo reeds or, in the Heilperns' case, tree branches loosely laid out so that stars shine among the white lights.

Decorating the sukkah is often a family event. Faux fruits and vegetables are hung from above, setting the stage for a celebration among family and friends.

-- Helene Lesel

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