Last night was the 7th day of Sukot- but it has a special name- Hoshana Raba. Kind of like a mini-Yom Kipur. During services, we destroy the willow branches that are part of the Lulav and Etrog (see the picture below) we’ve employed during this seven day festival. We either do this because it was part of the rain-bringing rituals that existed centuries ago- or to remind us of repentance. (The origin of the practice is simply not clear to us today.)
My mom’s dead. And, I’m single. So, there’s no celebration of Mother’s Day this weekend. (Pay attention kids- your mom’s alive. Don’t forget her.) And, I was somewhat confused last week, when the Phillies celebrated Mother’s Day. (That’s because there will be no Sunday home game this weekend. )
Yup. Another holiday. Yes, I know it’s tax season. It’s why I’ve been pushing my clients to get me their stuff early. Because tonight begins the 7th day of Pesach. (You do recall that we Jews start our days in the evening. Because Hashem stated it was evening, it was morning- one day. It’s why Christians follow the evening concept for the birth of Jesus- because he was Jewish and that’s how it worked for him.)
Saturday night starts a great holiday for me- Purim. (Purim means “Lots”- as in the lottery. But, it was only after a few twists and turns that we managed to eke out a win with this lottery.) My family tradition adds on a second day- Shushan Purim, the name for the second day; most Ashkenazi Jews rarely celebrate it- for them, it’s a one day holiday.
Yes, it’s another holiday. Among my favorites. For the past two days, I’ve been cleaning my backyard, moving all the furniture around, and building a hut. Because Sunday night starts Sukot- the full moon holiday of Tishrei. (By the way- don’t miss the Orionid meteor showers on Saturday night/Sunday morning.) After finishing our 40 days of introspection, which culminated in the most solemn, full day of fasting for Yom Kipur, we now have the holiday of joy. (Sukot has another name- the Time of Celebration.) Sukot is one of the three “festivals” delineated in the Tora, the Bible.