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New York City - Teenager Pedaling Sukkah Celebration Throughout New York

Published on: October 6, 2009 04:27 PM
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With his sukkah-topped rickshaw parked on a Brooklyn, N.Y., street, 16-year-old Levi Duchman looks for local Jews to introduce them to the holiday of Sukkot.New York City - Coming alongside a New York City push to license pedicab operators, the initiative of a Jewish teenager in Brooklyn has given pedestrians and motorists an interesting site: a mobile bamboo-topped latticework hut affixed to a rickshaw.

Levi Duchman, a 16-year-old Chabad-Lubavitch yeshiva student from Crown Heights, was out peddling the contraption Monday around Grand Army Plaza, publicizing the Jewish holiday of Sukkot like never before. According to Duchman, the handmade booth has been getting quite a reaction from New Yorkers, who have likely never seen a sukkah – the walled temporary huts that Jews eat in during the seven-day holiday – transported in such a way.
Levi Duchman says the hard part is the peddling.
“People are really getting excited,” said Duchman, whose father directs Colel Chabad, a social-services organization founded in 1788 by the first Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, and whose brother runs the Chabad House on Roosevelt Island. “Everybody is taking out their phone and taking pictures.”


“I woke up Friday morning with this idea,” he said Tuesday before taking his younger brother and heading out for Manhattan. “I asked all the pedicab drivers where I could get one, and then went to the store and told them what I wanted to do.”
Levi Duchman says the hard part is the peddling.

As he makes the rounds, Duchman invites Jewish men, women and children to make a special blessing on the Four Species – a combination of palm branch, willow twigs, myrtle branches and citron that are held together each day of Sukkot – and to eat a snack inside the sukkah. The hard part, he revealed, is the driving.

“Peddling made me tired a bit,” he said after his first day.

While the city intends for all pedicab operators to be licensed by Nov. 20, Duchman said that his vehicle is decidedly temporary. After the holiday, he pointed out, sukkahs everywhere will be taken down and packed away for next year.

Anyways, he added, “all of the police officers are giving us nice waves.”

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Read Comments (11)  —  Post Yours »


 Oct 06, 2009 at 05:35 PM chanie Says:

What a Kiddush Hashem. Great idea.


 Oct 06, 2009 at 09:18 PM professor Says:

Real cute!
Love it!
Tizke L'mitzvohs!


 Oct 06, 2009 at 10:22 PM pedlling Says:

hmm, I get the impression that peddling was hard for him. I wonder why didn't they point that out?

otherwise great article! Inspiring!


 Oct 06, 2009 at 11:14 PM Anonymous Says:

A little less kishke and the pedaling gets easier Levi but kol hakovod it is a beautiful thing. Chazak veemutz


 Oct 06, 2009 at 06:38 PM lamden Says:

He got to make sure he should'nt ride under a tree or any kind of awning while eating inside.


 Oct 07, 2009 at 12:11 PM Yankee Says:

Beautiful, Kidush Hashem.


 Oct 07, 2009 at 06:49 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Yankee Says:

Beautiful, Kidush Hashem.

Chabad "paving the road" again! Kol Hakavod!


 Oct 07, 2009 at 07:40 PM Anonymous Says:

I love it! what an idea!


 Oct 07, 2009 at 08:12 PM manchester Says:

keep it up


 Oct 08, 2009 at 02:30 AM yankie Says:

watch a homeless person call it home. Dont leave it unatended


 Oct 08, 2009 at 08:41 PM מרת שאקאלאד Says:

What a wonderful idea. I will help with the peddling if they make more pediesukes iberayor, mertseshem.


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