Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Sukkot 2018: First Day

All the guests depicted in a mural in the Sukkah.
We spent the first days of this seven-day festival in my favourite place in Israel - Kibbutz Alumim. This is my happy place full of wonderful memories of festivals, parties and shabbatot (Sabbaths) going back 30 years.

Two of my friends live next door to each other and share a Sukkah. I took a picture of the outide but we'd not yet laid the tables for the festive meal by sundown on Sunday, so by the time it was looking magical inside, all the technical equipment had been put away for the duration.

It's traditional to have a decoration depicting seven special guests (The Ushpizim) who we [symbolically] invite to the sukkah: Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, and David. One of the decorations in our Sukkah was a mural depicting all the guests, 24 of whom were with us for the first day and the others (not us) will be there on Shabbat.

I am sitting back to back with my hostess - me writing my blog and she reading but also wearing her running shoes. DD is the gymnast with the red ball at bottom right. She loved it. She kept telling me how much she loved her picture.

It was very hot out so the Sukkah was fanned through each of the doors. 
There was also a hanging decoration that DD made in Kindergarten five years ago and we took it with us then. They put it up every year. It's a bit like Christmas decorations that get unpacked yearly. Some are added each year and some are old favourites.

The neighbours' guests included lots of friends, old and new. It was one big catch-up session. We also had a comic rendition of the laws and customs of the festival written in the style of Dr Suess.

On Monday we ate lunch in the enormous communal sukkah that takes up the whole patio in front of the communal dining room. We were about 300 people eating in it. And we ended the day with a light supper back in our own Sukkah.

If you think it's mostly eating and shmoozing you'd be right but there were also a few card and board games going on. Obviously there was a synagogue service in the morning but we didn't go to that - I'm off synagogue services atm but no one minds, each to his/her own.

We had a lovely time, as always. Big thanks to the Landsmans and the Marcuses. xxxx

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