The Sukkahleh Song
(Thanks to enthusiastic students over the years, this Sukkaleh song has become a true Shabbos House Chabad favorite, sung every night in the Sukkah, and on other nights of the year as well. This rhyming translation adaption (it is true to the song but is not a literal translation) into English from the old original Yiddish “A Sukkahleh A Klayna” was done by Rabbi Israel Rubin, founder of Shabbos House in 1976, regional director of Capital Chabad).
My Sukkahleh is small, not fancy at all
but is especially dear to me.
Schach I put on a bit, hoping to cover it,
there I’d sit and think. (2x)
The wind was a cold one,
the cracked walls were old ones,
the candles were flickering low.
At times as if dying, but suddenly rising,
as if they did not want to go. (2x)
My sweet little daughter
sensing the danger,
got scared and started to cry.
“Father,” she cried,
“Don’t stay there outside
the Sukkah is going to fall!” (2x)
Fear not my child, its been quite a while
the Sukkahleh still stands strong.
The wind has been worse my dear,
but its almost two thousand years
yet the Sukkahleh still stands strong! (2x)
Obviously, the Sukkah in this song is a metaphor for the Jewish people, the winds over 2,000 years are the persecutions and challenges of the diaspora. We sing this sung with gusto even when sitting a well-built, large and sturdy Sukkah, because the message and inspiration rings true and hits home.
The song emphasizes the meaningful, timeless core values that can weather any storm, that can warm us up despite the external chill. The song contrasts the daughter’s frightened uncertainty as to whether the rickety fragile Sukkah could hold up against the wind, vs. the father’s reassuring calm, spiritual confidence and inner certainty.