Several years ago, my brother-in-law and sister took a trip to Israel, where they stayed in one of Jerusalem’s nicer hotels. The cab driver was in a loquacious mood and eager to demonstrate his superior knowledge of the neighborhood. The car cruised by the Waldorf Astoria, which at that point was still under construction and seemed like it would remain so until the end of days. (“Wait! Don’t bring Magog just yet! We’re having our lobby chandeliers installed at 2 p.m.!”) The cabbie pointed to the beautiful ancient shell of a building and confidently informed my brother-in-law that the reason it was taking so long to complete was because they were installing a kosher mikvah in every suite.
My brother-in-law must have been exceedingly jetlagged, because he bothered trying to argue the halachic impossibility of this concept. He lost. As a public service, I will inform my readership that arguing with Israeli cabbies is always a losing proposition.
However, I am pleased to inform you that the now-complete Jerusalem Waldorf Astoria is home to one of the most beautiful sukkahs in the world, located in their airy glass-topped atrium. The beauty here is in the simplicity, which anyone can copy. The color scheme is white and green with a touch of red/pink. I can’t help but feel that the building itself is happy to house this sukkah.
Not to be outdone, the Inbal puts up this geometric beauty every year. Hanging potted plants and/or chandeliers is a decent alternative to labor-intensive vines if you have enough height.
In my humble opinion, Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi accomplished the ancient feel a tad more realistically.
Aish HaTorah’s efforts are nothing to sneer at. And their view of the Kosel is priceless.
Zisi Naimark holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The New York School of Interior Design and has been working for professional design firms since 2012. She lives in Kew Gardens Hills, where she is tolerated by her husband and sons. She can be reached at email@example.com.