Posts Tagged ‘Union Square’

Jewish Holiday Greetings: Sukkot

September 27, 2010
sukkot harvest

lulav, etrog, Hallah, freshly harvested vegetables, Ecclesiastes

It is still perfectly appropriate to wish each other a Happy New Year (or Shana Tovah in Hebrew), just as people continue saying Happy (Gregorian) New Year for many weeks into January and beyond.

But maybe you’re looking for a Jewish holiday greeting more specific to the actual current Jewish holiday and wondering, What is the proper Hebrew greeting during these intermediary days of Sukkot? (September 26-29 this year) and what is the proper response?

Answer: Both come from the Festival Kiddush, as follows:

Person who initiates the greeting says: Mo’adim l’simhah!
Person who replies: Hagim u’z’manim l’sasson!

Hint about pronunciation: Each of the Hebrew words above puts the emphasis/stress on the last syllable.

Try it!

Hebrew Vocabulary:

Mo’adim = moments, “festivals,” “appointed times”
(singular: mo’eid)

l’ = for/to

simhah = joy, gladness, happy occasion

Hagim = holidays, celebrations
(singular: hag)

u’ = and

z’manim = seasons, times
(singular: z’man)

sasson = joy, happiness

Taste of Hebrew: Sukkah

September 26, 2010

Sukkah = hut, booth, “tabernacle,” shelter

Sukkot = plural of sukkah. The name of the holiday we’re in the middle of.

Sukkoh = his sukkah

Homework: See if you can find sukkoh (“his shelter”) in Psalm 27.

Tishrei 16: New Tradition: Post-Sukkah-Dwelling Tick Check

September 24, 2010

sukkah electrification projectMy faithful ol’ “giant-shower-stall” sukkah looks so much smaller and more vulnerable now that it stands on a huge lawn near the woods rather than in an Arlington postage-stamp back yard that was barely any bigger than the sukkah.   Two days into the holiday, I’ve observed a few pros and cons:

Pros:

1. The vulnerability of the little sukkah on the big lawn is so sweet, totally in tune with the holiday themes.

2. It’s so quiet here at night.  Aside from the din of the crickets.  The night air fairly throbs with them.

3. No more light pollution!

4. The nearest neighbors are far enough away from the sukkah that they won’t be disturbed if I drown out the crickets while practicing Ahat Sha’alti on the harmonica.

Cons:

1. There are a lot more mosquitoes out here amongst the protected wetlands, especially on warm nights.  Note to self: Buy more citronella candles.

2. The commute from the sukkah back to the house is a lot longer.  I and my guests can’t just dash back inside for forgotten items or the bathroom.  I even drove my car up and down the long driveway with trunkfuls of sukkah gear several times, just because it was easier and faster.   Now I’m likely to say, “Too bad we forgot that, let’s manage without.”   This is way more like camping.  It occurs to me that now we’re more closely approximating the ancient agrarian experience of our ancestors, who stayed overnight in the fields during the fall harvest!  Hm, maybe this should be a pro rather than a con?

3. It’s DARK at night.  That is, until the candles are lit.  (And the electric sukkah lights are fired up, thanks to some really, really long extension cords.)  This means the commute between the sukkah and the house is more treacherous at night.   So let’s just stay in the sukkah, which has suddenly become even cozier.  See Pro #3 above.

4. There are more animals of all types here, including deer ticks.  Looks like post-sukkah-dwelling tick checks will be de rigeur from now on.  We aren’t in Arlington anymore!