However, that didn't stop one of the men from reminding me: "Sure, if it doesn't get blown down before Sukkot!" It has been very windy the past few days in Southern Florida and, in this territory at this time of year, you never know when a hurricane will come to visit.
That seems to me to be the main point of a sukkah. According to the Talmud (B. Sukkot 28b), we are supposed to consider the sukkah to be our home during the days of Sukkot. For the holiday, a flimsy shack that could be blown over by a stiff wind becomes our permanent home. That other house—the one built out of concrete, brick and steel—is a glorified outhouse. The sukkah becomes the home that reminds us of the true meaning of security and permanence.
What things give us true security in life? We live as if it were the trivial details of our lives—our jobs, the banks where we keep or money, an insurance policy, and our brick and mortar homes. The sukkah is there to remind us that none of those things provides any real security. The things in life that are lasting and real are the things that we usually think of as ephemeral—friendships, community, and love.
We build a sukkah half with sticks and half with hope. It is a testament to our belief that, even in a world filled with all sorts of hurricanes, we discover true security and permanence in the way we treat each other.