it is 7:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. the 8 day holiday of sukkot has finally come to an end. the people in town and in many shuls all over the town will be rejoicing and playing music, while the men dance with torahs. i'll be in my warm bed. i'm exhausted.
i had guests for meals in the sukkah on wednesday night, thursday afternoon, friday evening and saturday afternoon, tuesday afternoon and evening, and then again on wednesday afternoon. i stayed in on sunday all by myself and i went out for a birthday sukkah party on monday. i baked a lovely white cake with whipped cream icing for the birthday 'boy'. he turned 60 or something around that number.
i have to cook for shabbat meals tomorrow and i am simply, not up for it. i had to watch sahar on wednesday, so i did the cooking at night. i'll probably have him again tomorrow, so i will have to make a simple meal. i am perfectly serious. there will be no 10 salads tomorrow. i will not make a cooked for 2 hours sephardi tomato salad. they will be lucky if i make an egg salad. i will buy humus.
i woke up this morning at 6:30 a.m. i had some coffee and cake and davened. i didn't wait until i got to shul. i figured that i would be busy with my grandson and i was right. i shlepped him to shul at around 9:30 a.m. he stayed with his dad in the mens' section and all the little children were placed under a large tallis and were blessed. the sephardi ladies threw candies at the men. the kids scrambled to catch and collect the toffees. all the kids were given goodies bags.
my grandson sat happily on a bench, eating a bag of colored and sugar coated puffed wheat cereal. i had to shlepp him home because he pooped and i didn't bring a spare diaper. he managed to throw all of the puffed cereal all over the couch and in all its' crevices. i quickly sweeped it all up and shlepped him back to shul. it is only 2 blocks away but very hard when a 2 year old wants to be carried.
the service was lovely, not that i could follow a word of it. we got out at around 11:30 a.m. i went over to the chabad shul/bomb shelter on the next street. they were having a meal. i mean a seudah. salads, herring, challah, tuna fish, meat cholent, vodka, the works. the womens' section was trashed. i hung out for nearly 3hours just to say 'yizkor'. one of the leaders of the shul was so drunk that he forgot to announce the yizkor prayer.
when i got home the kids had already done a barbecue and seemed satisfied. my friend had put the rest of the food on the platter so that i walked in to hot food. what a pleasure! i took 2 sips of my son's arak and grapefruit drink cocktail and i lost all sense of time and space. i just polished off the rest of the barbecue. my grandson calls it fire.
we had a particularly, emotionally, difficult day on tuesday. we all watched with baited breath, the return of kidnapped soldier, gilad shalit. we all cried our hearts out with gladness and outrage that he was held and mistreated for 5 and a half years. we all couldn't really believe that he was sent home alive and in tact. it was all too intense. we were all jewish mothers watching our collective son come home. trust me, it took all of our strength. and then there were those who truly suffered watching their loved ones' murderers set free. that's another story for another time.
all in all, i had 18 guests during sukkot. that's 'chai', life in hebrew. i had two new guests this holiday. one was a delightful and bright lady. the other was an oppressed and tortured soul. there are just, so many different stories here in the holy city of zefat.
i do not have the umph to do the dishes tonight. i can't imagine wasing the floors, either. we didn't take down the sukkah tonight. i honestly, hate to see it go. it was my best sukkah to date. i called down to my son to take out the trash. i got undressed and took it out myself. the air was so fresh and envigorating. it's beginning to get cold.
we are all through with holidays for a while. we won't have another holiday until chanukah. i'll try to throw my annual latke night again this year. i'm already thinking about tu b'shvat. i throw a fruit extravaganza every year. it won't be until the end of january. but i'm already planning the menu.
the more i think about shabbat, the more i want to simplify the menu. afterall, we ate meat and fish all week long. i wouldn't mind a veggie shabbat but the kids would never go for it. i think it will be a chicken cutlet, couscous and veggies supper. i will make one tossed salad and put out some chumus. there are a few meatballs leftover, too. lunch will be a veggie cholent. i have leftover chopped liver for the carnivores among us.
this holiday, i made a lot of vegetarian dishes. i made a raw cake from carob powder, dates, coconut and nuts. it tasted just like a marzipan bar. i made red lentil and pumpkin soup. i made brown rice kugel with soy milk and dates. i made a split pea casserole. i made wheat free corn muffins with soy milk. i also cooked 3 types of fish ( salmon fillet, niles perch fillet, and st. peter's fillet) in 3 different sauces.
i may not make fish tomorrow. we'll see. it will be very hard shlepping back from the store with the bundles and sahar. last couple of times, i hailed a taxi to take me 2 city blocks. i am really tired so i will hit the couch. i'm still fleishig, so i'll have to drink a black coffee. shabbat shalom!