Shabbat shalom my fellow atoners and a big happy, healthy new year to all! And a shout out to a new JNR subscriber, Robin Winston, a dear cousin on the Berman side.
This week we celebrate another important Jewish holiday, Sukkot, but before I get to that, a quick riff on the election results in California.
Twice as many voters (about 7 million) voted “No” on the question of removing Governor Newsom from office. Over $400M of the Golden State taxpayer money was spent to indulge a small minority of Republicans who, knowing they are and always will be a small minority, took advantage of California’s liberal recall rules and found a Trumpian judge that helped ease the way for them to gather enough signatures to put this wasteful attempt to grab power on the ballot. Newsom’s main competition was from a black whack job radio host who actually stated that slave owners could get reparations for their losses when their “property” was taken from them. I think “none of the above” would have made a stronger candidate, but sadly, that’s the state of the Republican party these days. Being a Mass resident, I have no dog directly in this fight, but crigie, WTF! This is just another example of the desperate attempts being made by Republicans all over the country to hold onto the levers of power instead of winning at the ballot box with ideas and policies supported by voters. We can only hope the state changes the rules to avoid further attempts at instituting DaaS, Democracy as a Service!
Now, about Sukkot. Yesterday I was discussing the holiday with friend and JNR subscriber, Smadar Gekow. I told her I was surprised that Sukkot was considered such an important holiday in Israel when my own experience growing up was thinking it was mostly about building huts and waving silly symbols in honor of the fall harvest. Well, Smadar schooled me a bit, and also motivated me to run to wikipedia for more of an explanation. And I learned that I got it part right in that it has both agricultural and religious roots. The former is like I thought, a celebration of the harvest where farmers and field workers built huts (sukkah) in the fields for protection during the harvest. The more religious part relates to the commemoration of the Exodus and the dependence of the people on the word of God. The holiday lasts for 7 days in Israel (eight in the Diaspora) and we still wave the etrog and lulav each day in celebration.
It may not be as spiritually meaningful as shofar blowing, or apple-in-honey dipping, but for Jews in the Diaspora, and notably here in Sharon, MA, sukkah-hopping is one of the most widely anticipated activities of this time of year! So, still early in it’s construction, here is the best sukkah I have visited so far.
Enjoy the holiday everyone!
This week, because of the high holidays, The Forward did not publish a weekly recap, but did include a collection of holiday recipes, which I include here for all of you as well. It did not include my own recipe for Philly Cheese steak, which I am preparing today for the ballgame. Go Red Sox!
That’s all for the week, and hey, i know you are probably sick of this Covid shit, but don’t let your guard down and be careful out there.