Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are home-born in Israel shall dwell in booths; that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 23:42-43)
Every year, the Bnei Menashe community in India conducts an annual “Kosher Sukka Inspection Program” during the intermediary days of the holiday of Sukkot. A team of 10 inspectors visited 8 Bnei Menashe villages in the Churachandpur area – Mualkoi, New Bazar, Phailen, Sijang, Zohar, Monglenphai, Matiyang and B.Vengnuom – viewing tens of creative sukkot (the temporary outdoor “booths” built especially for the festival).
The purpose of the program is twofold: first, as a competition, the inspectors judged the most beautiful dwellings (and awarded prizes). Second, the inspectors helped educate the Bnei Menashe community on how to build a sukka that is both lovely and kosher (for example, it should have a thatched rather than a tin roof).