Through her universalizing literary bridge, Zipora persuades her readers to rethink positions on fraught issues like the legality of succahs, while also giving voice and agency to Hasidic women, altering their popular perception.
The Hasids must have their succahs up before the eight-day holiday and take them down when it is done; there is only a four-day period between Yom Kippur and Succot (when Jews traditionally build their succahs), and they are not allowed to build on Saturday, since it is their day of rest, nor, in Quebec, on Sunday, since it is the provincial day of rest (this deference to Catholic Sabbath observance is treated by the state as historic and national, just as the crucifix above the Speaker's chair in the Quebec National Assembly is; only minorities' religions are problematic).
One of these issues is that of the succah, the temporary structure that observant Jews construct and eat in during the fall holiday of Succot to commemorate the "sojourn of the Jews in the desert while living under the protection of the clouds" (Zipora, 152).
In Syndicat Northcrest v Amselem, the Supreme Court of Canada held that a condominium association's refusal to permit Orthodox Jewish unit-owners to construct succahs on their balconies, as part of the Jewish festival of Succot, breached their freedom of religion under the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
Iacobucci J in Amselem held that preventing the appellants from erecting succahs on their balconies amounted to a non-trivial interference with their religious practice.
The two rabbis who gave evidence at the Amselem trial took different positions on the question of whether residing in a personal succah was a religious obligation.
The claimants in Amselem, on the other hand, seem to fall into the second category, since they believed that their religion mandated them to set up individual succahs in this instance, despite Rabbi Levy's denial of this obligation.
The issue arose in Amselem because some of the claimants had not erected individual succahs in previous years, choosing instead to celebrate the holiday at the households of family members.
The Orthodox Jews wished to build temporary structures, succahs, on their balconies during the Jewish festival of Succot in accordance with their interpretation of Scripture.
(47) Justice Iacobucci went on to weigh the impact on other condominium owners if the Jewish owners built succahs on their balconies for nine days.
Orthodox Jews who owned units in a condominium building in Montral sought to construct small enclosed structures known as succahs
on their balconies for the Jewish festival of Succot.
In that case, in a luxurious condominium unit in Montreal, some of the condominium owners erected on their balconies, a "succah
", which is a temporary hut, open to the sky, required during the nine days of the Jewish festival of Succot.