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.)
Given the events of this past weekend in Charlottesville, I decided to break into my queue.
After all, I lived there for 13 years. And, one of my finest accomplishments there (other than the birth of my two daughters and a slew of great products) was bringing life to the 150 year old synagogue there. Jeff Poelvoorde and I spent months convincing folks to come to a traditional Saturday morning service. And, with time, a wonderful Jewish community- shared lives, families, food- developed. And, continues there still some 3 decades later.
I’m not sure about this trip.
First of all, it may mean that my blog posts are going to appear at random times over the next few days. Because I will be traveling to places that may not have the best internet service (or, at all!)- and there is a significant time shift. But, that’s only part of the reasons why I’m not sure about this trip.
This post was written long before The Donald elected to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. (That accord is officially entitled the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. I italicized ‘framework’ to ensure y’all recognize this is but a suggestion to preserve the world in which we live- not a series of regulations governing our lives.) Everything in the post below still applies. Except now, the warnings are probably more dire.
Today is the 7th day of Pesach. For the past year, the Eqyptians have been beset by the Ten Plagues. Dam, Tzfardaya, Kinim.. In English: Blood. Frogs. Lice. Wild Beasts. Pestilence. Boils. Hail. Locusts. Darkness. Slaying of the First-born. We’ve put blood on our doorposts to protect us from that last plague. And, now we are free, on the edge of Yam Suf, the Sea of Reeds.