Ok, this is late, but life has been hectic and I did want to record – if only for myself – some Sukkot thoughts.
For example, in Glasgow, it ALWAYS rained on Sukkot. When I came to Israel, I knew that Sukkot marked a change in the weather. But it was a bit of a shock, given the early time in the year, for Sukkot to also herald the arrival of rain in Israel this year! It wasn’t much, but it was definitely wet.
We had visitors – hello Steven and Michele – and did a few trips. One was an escorted guide around parts of the 1967 lines in Jerusalem. The tour guide was very knowledgeable, and for once I could not fault his history. (Often that’s the part that tour guides get wrong. They can tell you who built what, and when. But the why, the wherefore, and the historical context are often suspect. Not here. Well done that man.) We finished off with a meal at the tachana (old rail station) with Shosh and Michael.
Another trip was to the tachana in Tel Aviv, a slightly more upmarket shopping and eating “trap”! And we walked around Neveh Tzedek before lunch, and then had a wander and wine at the namal (port). We won’t mention me failing the “find a parking place” challenge in Tel Aviv. It’s not a car friendly city!
As in previous years, the one day chag is still strange. Going from the festive joy of the hakafot to yizkor, still jars. Perhaps it always will.
As for shul, it was its usual: wall to wall, jam-packed, and ranging from solemnity to joy and back again. On the first day of Sukkot, it was so busy there was a traffic jam when doing the hoshanas (circuits around the bimah). I gave up and went back to my seat. Steven said he had never seen so many lulavs (and etrogs) in the one place at one time.
Having our sukkah was as good an experience as it had been in Glasgow. Susan and I both like it, and there is undoubtedly something special about sitting in the sukkah, sipping your favorite beverage, and relaxing.
It was also a great gaming break. It was good to have time to fit some of that into the program. When I think about it, although we did a lot, we didn’t do anywhere near as many things as we hoped to do. I suppose there’s always next Sukkot.
Going back to work was not as traumatic as it could have been, because I had worked for a few days during the break on some important stuff. It was not a drag, and in the end it benefited me as much as the company. But, going back to work has coincided with the return of the schoolkids and the resultant increase in traffic. Yuk. I have already seen one really bad accident and a couple of minor ones – fender-bender types – so have been reminded of just how tricky it is on the roads.
I enjoyed Sukkot. But I am glad the chagim are over and we can try and establish some kind of routine. (That laughter you can hear? That’s Susan and the girls, who all know how unlikely that will be!) It never seems to be easy, but it can be fun trying.
Now, what am I supposed to be doing tomorrow…