BOB ABERNETHY: On the calendar this week, the 7-day Jewish observance of Sukkot, which began at sundown on Friday.

Jews recall their ancestors’ 40 years of wandering in the desert after the exodus from Egypt by praying in a sukkah. A sukkah is a temporary dwelling exposed to the elements, where observant Jews may also eat and sleep. We visited the Greenbaum-Sherman family in Bethesda, Maryland, as they put the finishing touches on their backyard sukkah.


DAD: This is fun. Come on.

MOM: It’s a great way to stay really connected. Every time I build this I reconnect with my father.

DAD: The Jews have been around for a long time. We’ve survived all sorts of cataclysms, catastrophes. And I believe that we are an eternal people and this is one of the ways of asserting our connection. The golden chain of continuity with our people for thousands of years.

MOM: Remember that year it was really cold we had to wear our winter coats and we said we were going to sit out here and eat the entire meal no matter how cold we were and we did. We ate quickly.

DAD: When you come home and you see all the decorations and you know your children have been involved with it and you have a sense not just that it’s a beautiful sukkah but that you’ve handed to your children something which is more valuable than money.