Different practices involve different ways of marking our dwelling space--whether we flush a conventional toilet or use a waterless composting toilet, whether we produce our own electricity from a small, off-grid solar system or expect it to magically appear from some far off place every and any time we want it, whether we dwell in single family homes or houses designed for small living groups, whether we interact bodily with our dwelling space to help create and maintain our own comfort (or largely do not, in the case of mainstream residential life).
In other words, through the never-ending actions and practices that mark dwelling, we are also making claim--communicating assertions and staking out positions, claims made in the realm of both thought and action (Dewey, 1910; 1922)--while we dwell.
All residential dwellers dwell in the world, and all respond to their world by marking and claiming it.
Some people (like those I study) dwell differently, they make creative choices and engage in alternative practices in order to make alternative claims about dwelling, about what dwelling is and what it can be.
This conceptualization of dwelling does shed light on the experiences of residential dwelling and those who dwell differently, yet the application of these conceptual tools to empirical material also allows for an assessment and further development of these theoretical ideas.
We leant to dwell in relation to the world around us, and it is important to recognize the relational nature of dwelling as a social phenomenon (Emirbayer, 1997), as we consider the dwelling experience.
There are substantive (relational) issues regarding access to space for marking and claiming where and how we dwell.
For Malbim, this important truth is communicated more by entering the sukka and understanding why God commanded his people to dwell there than by the dislocation experienced by departing from one's house.
Ephraim Solomon ben Aaron of Luntshits, author of the commentary Keli Yaqar, offers a similar explanation of the commandment: "All citizens in Israel shall dwell in sukkot [Leviticus 23:42].
To forestall such haughty thoughts the Torah commands that one leave the house and dwell in the sukka, a temporary dwelling.
Therefore they [the sages] said, "Leave your permanent dwelling and dwell in a temporary dwelling" [bSuk 2a].
The walls may fall, the covering may wither in the storm, God may call you outside; but the sheltering love of God is everywhere and constantly with you, and where it bids you to dwell, where it protects you, there teshvu ke'ain taduru,(29) you dwell, were it only for a moment, in the most fleeting and transitory dwelling, as calmly and securely as if it were your house forever.
You shall observe the festival of the Lord seven days when you have gathered in the yield of your land (Deuteronomy 16:13) at the time when you gather in the yield of the land and your houses are full of every bounty - grain and oil and wine, in order that you remember that I caused the Israelites to dwell in Sukkot in the desert for forty years, without an inheritance and territory.
This is a Talmudic principle: "you shall dwell [in the sukka] in the same manner in which you live [in a house].