Two days up north
This week, we took the train up to the city of Akko for an annual festival, which we last went to seven years ago – before our daughter was born. Since it takes several hours to get there, we rented an apartment for the night… Otherwise, we would have had to deal with an overly exhausted little girl on the way back, which would not have been fun for anyone.
The festival itself was underwhelming this year, probably because of COVID-19… But that did not matter to our daughter, who thoroughly enjoyed the change of scenery, running through Akko’s snaking stone streets and staring out at the sea from a restaurant veranda. At the festival, she also acquired two rings and a handmade, rainbow-colored wooden dagger, which only added to her enjoyment of our mini-vacation.
On the second day, we met up with an Arab friend of ours who lives in Sakhnin, met his family, and got to see his lovely home. By coincidence, his older son had just received notice that he’d passed his Israeli medical exam; and, of course, we all went out to celebrate the event.
Our short getaway was wonderful.
Jerusalem autumn winds
If you’ve never been to Israel, you may be unaware that Jerusalem, which is a city in the hills, is generally a bit cooler and always less humid than Israel’s cities on the Mediterranean sea and cities in the south. Of course, living in Jerusalem as I do, I take this for granted and rarely think about it… Jerusalem’s summer heat is quite enough for me – thank you!
I mention this because Jerusalem’s autumn winds can be quite powerful, and they blew the cover (s’chach in Hebrew) off of our Sukkot festival booth the night before we left for the train station. Thankfully, I noticed it lying on the ground, and brought our s’chach indoors, reasoning that we wouldn’t be using our festival booth (sukkah in Hebrew) during our two days up north anyway.
What I did not expect is that the winds were strong enough to knock our sukkah over in our absence. Upon our return last night, our booth was lying on its side, its beams disconnected from one another, mostly held together by the sukkah’s cloth walls. Lovely.
By the way, it’s important to note that these booths are deliberately designed to be not-so-sturdy. They serve us, among other things, as a reminder of our mortal vulnerabilities, which the security of our homes can distract from. In fact, this is brought home by the religious requirement that the s’chach not be attached to the walls of the sukkah… It lies on top of the booth, but it can always get blown off, and we know this well.
Anyway, after I returned with the groceries for Shabbat (which begins every Friday at sunset), I picked up the pieces of our booth and erected it once again, facing it in a different direction this time so that the winds blow primarily upon its narrower sides (I hope this will prevent it from getting blown over again). As of writing this post, I haven’t put the s’chach back on (I’d rather not tempt fate), but I’ll take care of that before Shabbat begins.
Ironically, after all of my efforts, if it’s raining tonight, we won’t be eating in our sukkah anyhow…
Jerusalem winds Reveal the vulnerable Bless Jews' battered booths
As always, I’m offline for 25 hours for Shabbat, which runs from sunset every Friday to sunset on Saturday. I look forward to reconnecting soon!