Washington Sukkah Square
By Scout Walker
Washington Square Park in New York City is an amazing place. It is slightly less than 10 acres, is built on top of an old cemetery and contains among other attractions, the Washington Square Arch, originally built in celebration of George Washington’s inauguration, 2 dog parks, 3 children’s playgrounds, a bocce ball area, drug dealers, chess players, tai chi practitioners, buskers, and large numbers of tourists, students, vagrants and assorted others.
This week it also contains a sukkah. Although intended to celebrate the distant harvest (Washington Square Park has no edible greenery I know of), perhaps in honor of Israel’s recent conflicts, the sukkah most resembles army barracks.
This morning, as I walked through the park with my dog, we saw an elderly African American man approach the two young men with skullcaps who appeared to be guarding the door. The gentleman asked if he could see the inside of the monstrosity, but the young men demurred, telling him it was only for Jews. I could be wrong, but I suspect that the elderly man was fewer generations away from working in the fields then the guardians of the Sukkah, but that didn’t entitle him to enjoy its bounty. He should be comforted that the food from the many carts in the park is no doubt better than that to be found in the barracks.