Thursday, September 30, 2004

Holiday begins

We all had off from work except for Hubby who had to meet a deadline. Let me describe what a sukkah is. It is something that you construct for a period 7 days during this holiday, a rectangular, or square hut, with walls usually made of either wood or canvas sheets (when we were in canada, we used wood because it was cold outdoors - in Israel most people use plastic canvas for the walls). The roof consists of bamboo strips with some palm fronds put on top of that. We eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks in that Sukkah. In fact, because of the biblical injunction of "7 days shall you live in it" many Orthodox Jews actually sleep in their sukkah. We prefer our beds of course, but when the kids were younger they all threw their sleeping bags in the sukkah and camped out there for a few nights. Most Israelis have either a garden or balcony where they construct their sukkah. If there is no balcony or garden, you just build one on the sidewalk! Hotels have communal sukkahs for their guests. Hopefully if I can get my camera working this evening, the photos are the best way to describe how they look. Christmas decorations are a big seller for this holiday. Blinking lights, tinsel, lots of tinsel are the usual sukkah decorations hanging from the bamboo strips. I supplement the tinsel with plastic hanging fruit like grapes, olives, pomegrantes. This year someone just gave me fresh dates and pomegrantes - the real thing- to hang in there. Decorating the sukkah is equivalent to decorating the Christmas tree. That's when the kids get out of bed, no matter what age, no matter if it's 3 pm and pool their interior decorating talents together. Last night when I walked the dog in the park, where everyone's backyard, porches back on to, it was like a symphony of sorts. No one seemed to be indoors. You could see the shadows inside the sukkahs. You could hear everyone singing, talking, kids playing, forks and plates clanking. It was like one giant communal festivity happening.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed these descriptions of your neighborhood and the holiday doings! My hubby wants me to ask you if it is that difficult to find a place to rent that will allow you to have a dog (maybe you are buying instead of renting...but I remembered what you shared about having a dog there). He is looking into a couple job opportunities there...so was wondering. We have learned that bringing a dog from the US to Israel is not too hard...possible anyway. They become like one's children nearly you know! We were gone last weekend and the poor old thing had to cry a bit while we were gone my daughter tells me. I am a dog's mama, I guess! HA!
Elizabeth

jerusalemgypsy said...

Hi Elizabeth,

Not a problem to bring a dog here. Lots of dogs and you'll find enough apsartments that allow them. We're renting and the landlord is ok with it.

I do hope the Jerusalem job works out for your husband! It'll be great to add more interesting/spiritual people to the city!

Are you affiliated with the International Christian Embassy at all? I guess if you answere that - there goes your anonyminity....:-)

Anonymous said...

Dear Leah,
Well, that answers one question about dogs at least...thanks!

Now to being anonymous...it is just easier to post this way...I sincerely doubt anyone on internet is TRUELY anonymous...I am just lazy about filling out forms (clicking on something is just plain easier)...and Elizabeth is my real name.

As to belonging to the Christian Embassy...I think that is the title?...I have heard of it, in fact we learned more of it along with MANY MANY other things at the convention we attended this last weekend...a lot of history about Israel basically. But actually and truthfully, hubby and I do not BELONG...as in "JOIN"...to any group at all. Other than we do our best to follow Yeshua and His teachings, which most seem not to know, come DIRECTLY from the Torah...so you might call us Torah observant...and VERY BEGINNING at that! We were raised Christian...but we also chose to follow Yeshua ourselves...it is not something anyone else chooses for us. BUT...we are at this point, VERY different from our families...in many ways. In fact, they think we have jumped off a cliff, so to speak. They understand we are sincere...but probably see us as a bit crazy. But that is ok...when we read the scriptures, seems to me, a good many of those good people probably were looked at as being a bit crazy too. Since we began to INTENSELY study the scriptures, and to learn about being Torah observant and to TRY to practice it in our lives...such peace has come to us and our marriage is very good and we love each other as we never had previously...and we rarely disagree about anything anymore...there is such peace...I cannot find the words to tell you...but I wish it came to everyone...and I personally believe it can come to anyone who trys with all their might to follow those wonderful teachings and will let HaShem become what He wants to be in each one's life. So that pretty much describes us I think.

Thanks for answering my questions...if things ever come to be that we come over...you can be sure I will have many more questions! I enjoy what you share about living there...it is most helpful to us...I tell hubby what I learn too. He speaks of you to me as "your Jerusalem friend".
Elizabeth