Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Slice of Heaven

Full-blown Sukkah madness has officially erupted. During my two Shabbos afternoon walks (yes, two- it was a beautiful fall afternoon, and I figured why waste it?), I saw piles of sechach in driveways, half-erected sukkahs by most homes, and makeshift Esrogim and Sukkah shops lining all the main avenues. Tonight, but an hour and a half post-havdalah, the honking began as the supermarket across the street opened with plans to stay open until 3 PM erev chag. I am beginning to wonder if I will get any work done tomorrow, between the harried supermarket shoppers and my neighbours pounding together their sukkahs.

I still remember the wonderfully sweet smell of pine that I associate with Sukkot during my childhood years. We used to sit in the sukkah in full winter gear, the very crisp air wafting around us as we ate steaming bowls of food in an effort to keep warm. Swarms of wasps who were enjoying a last hurrah before the arrival of winter killed them off completed the equation. It was consequently a simultaneously sublime and slightly frightening scene. I think the wasps were the main reason, truth be told, that Sukkot slipped to third place in my hierarchy of favourite holidays.

They're forecasting beautiful weather this week, which stands in stark contrast to last year's heat-soaked chag. I generally find Sukkot to be rather relaxing: davening is a nice length, Hallel is positively breath-taking to watch, and nothing beats kiddush in a sukkah. The only downside to the chag is that, being prone to burning to a crisp, I tend to be quite the spectacle, sporting a mixture of summer (floppy hat to protect from the sun) and winter (coat, skirt) attire. But that should be the least of my worries.

Since I foresee that I will be crazy busy up until the chag, i.e., without a chance to write another post, I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a chag sameach. And, having heard many stories this afternoon about signs that Mosiach is imminent, hopefully we will all make this chag not only a joyous one, but a spiritually meaningful one as well.

Good voch.

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