Pedal PowerPedal Power

Have sukkah, will travel

Fifty Chabad Pedi-Sukkahs hit the road this week in cities worldwide

Renee Ghert-Zand is a reporter and feature writer for The Times of Israel.

Chabad Pedi-Sukkahs on the move in New York. (Courtesy)
Chabad Pedi-Sukkahs on the move in New York. (Courtesy)

There’s no reason a sukkah has to be stationary, so Chabad has put some 50 on the back of pedicabs and hit the road all over the world this week for Sukkot.

If you live in the US, Canada, Denmark, England, Australia, Holland or France, there’s a good chance of seeing a Pedi-Sukkah passing by. Jews can flag one down and enter to perform holiday-related mitzvot like shaking the lulav and etrog.

Since the portable sukkahs are of completely kosher build, a person could technically also stop in to one for a quick bite, thus performing the mitzvah of dining in the sukkah.

The Pedi-Sukkah is the brainchild of Levi Duchman, a 21-year-old Yeshiva student at Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn.

“Actually, I began this venture five years ago,” Duchman told The Times of Israel by email. “The whole idea is to make the mitzvah of the sukkah as accessible as possible to people.”

Levi Duchman drives his invention. (Courtesy)
Levi Duchman drives his invention. (Courtesy)

Duchman wears a helmet and safety gear while driving his Pedi-Sukkah around New York, and he hopes all the other drivers (which he noted can be also women) do, as well.

The yeshiva student enjoys the workout he gets from propelling the portable sukkah forward.

“It’s great exercise. During the intermediate days of the holiday, I spend about eight hours on the average day riding around town and engaging Jews,” he said.

“It generates a great deal of excitement and we get a lot of waves and smiles, from Jews and non Jews. Most of all, I think people are happy to see our heritage being celebrated openly and proudly.”

‘We get a lot of waves and smiles, from Jews and non Jews’

If you are sad to see the Pedi-Sukkahs disappear from the streets after Sukkot, do not despair. Many of them will be back in December refitted with large dreidels for Hanukkah.

The “green” Pedi-Sukkahs are of course better for the environment, but some of us may be nostalgic for the large, loud Chabad Mitzvah Tanks (converted to Sukkah Mobiles this time of year) to which we’ve become accustomed.

According to Duchman, it’s all good. “Same mitzvah, just a different vehicle,” he said.

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