Two young people have already suffered head injuries this year while building sukka booths for Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, which begins on Wednesday evening.One case was a 24-year-old man in Jerusalem’s Sanhedria neighborhood who suffered light-to-moderate harm to his head when it banged into a wooden fence while building a sukka. He was hospitalized and treated.In addition, a 15-year-old boy in Ashdod was left in moderate condition after falling from a ladder while building a sukka for his synagogue.
Magen David Adom, which reported the injuries, issued tips on Sunday on how to avoid harm while building the wooden or cloth-and-metal booths: • Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes. Weed out the nearby vegetation where snakes and other dangerous creatures may be hidden.Make sure access to and from the sukka is free from various obstacles so it can be evacuated quickly if necessary.• Make sure to place the sukka at a safe distance from electrical installations and gas cylinders. Do not light a fire near gas cylinders or electrical installations during its construction.• If the sukka is on a balcony on a high floor or on scaffolding beyond the balcony, make sure not to drop any heavy object so as not to harm pedestrians. Ensure that flower pots and window boxes are firmly fixed and that there is no danger of toppling the sukka or other objects below.• During the construction of the sides, make sure that young children are kept far from the area so they are not harmed by parts – especially large pieces of wood or metal – falling on them.• Take caution when laying the s’chach, the roof material, on top. Do not climb the porch railing on an unstable ladder. Make sure that palm branches and other coverings are well attached to the sukka so they don’t fall and injure bystanders. Wear protective gloves when touching planks and palm branches.• For celebrants using electricity in the sukka, be careful not to touch bare wires or unsafe electrical points. Before connecting power to the sukka, make sure all the sockets are safe for use in an open area and are water resistant to avoid electrocution.• Do not stand on balustrades, unstable ladders or chairs when hanging decorations.People have suffered severe spine and head injuries, or worse, when building sukkot.• Do not leave candles burning without supervision inside the sukka. Also void throwing cigarettes in or near the sukka to avoid fires.• At open markets where the four species used during the holiday are sold, carefully supervise children, so they don’t run into the streets and do not become lost.
Four species market for Succot at the Machane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem, Octover 1, 2017. (Marc Israel Sellem)