By Abigail Klein Leichman - October 12, 2017

Originally appeared here in Israel21c

Dentists Khalil and Reem Bakly, a young Arab-Israeli couple in Upper Nazareth, built a 9-by-3-meter sukkah on their deck and invited the general public to come for kosher and Arab cuisine, prayer, live music and discussions on the three intermediate days of the Sukkot holiday, October 8-10.

Calling their unusual construction the Sukkah of Hope, the Baklys issued an invitation in Arabic and Hebrew. “We believe that respect is mutual, that listening and understanding are the basis for a shared existence,” they wrote.

Why would a Muslim couple build a sukkah, a temporary outdoor booth, in keeping with the biblical commandment to celebrate the week-long Jewish Feast of Tabernacles?

Dr. Khalil Bakly, 45, says most of the patients and professional staff in both his Netanya and Nazareth offices are Jewish, and he had long admired the concept of Sukkot.

“Towards the Sukkot holiday we are used to masses of Israeli people celebrating this feast by building a sukkah,” he explains. “The sukkah comes to symbolize that materialism is not a principal issue, and therefore we are not measured by the strength of the walls in our houses, but rather by the strength of our hearts.” Read More