Christmas Trees and Sukkahs

I just received an email from the chaplain at our co-located Air Force Base, which contained an interesting bit of trivia:

Unlike our Christian brothers and sisters who are not permitted to have a Christmas tree in the Mall here at the base, we, in fact, are permitted to have a Sukkah. Why? Because for Jews, eating in a Sukkah during Sukkot falls under the category of “religious obligation.” It is a commandment for all Jews to “dwell” in the Sukkah at this time.

I find this fascinating, and just had to share it. I wonder if there are other such obligations (or how the religious right would take this if they figured it out).


To The Sukkah/I Will Bring/A Big Red Apple/On A String

Tonight, we went to Sukkot services at Temple Beth Hillel. They had a relatively large sukkah that was built by brotherhood, with canvas sides.

We started by picking up dinner at Boston Market. There was a picnic dinner on the lawn at Temple. We were greeted by the Rabbis, and enjoyed a delightful dinner. We got S&F to wear her shirt from Camp Hess Kramer… and guess what… a kid from her class came over to her and asked if she attended his session. It turns out they were in cabins across from each other at the same session (Genesis: She was in Davina, he was in Zeke). It totally surprised S&F.

I’d guess there were about 35 families for the Sukkot picnic and service. The Rabbi joked that there were more when Sukkot fell on Shabbat; he said (jokingly) that next year we should move it to a more popular date.

The Rabbis and the Cantor led a short service, which included a story from Rabbi Sarah (who was wandering around with her 17 month old daughter). It was all nice and lovely. A very relaxing evening. It ended with a friendship circles and closing prayers.

Now we’re at home. S&F is having to write a 7-para. essay… and her topic is why Bush should not be reelected. Gotta start ’em young!

P.S.: For those aware of my “arm tingling” problem: it is now clearly positional. Doesn’t make a difference what I’m doing with that arm. I look down towards my chest… and tingle. Look straight ahead, and I’m fine. Musta’ tweaked something in my neck.

P.P.S.: Remember the “Al Chayts for George Bush” I posted on Yom Kippur? We printed out a copy for Rabbi Jim, who loved it. He said he was going to mail copies of it to all the Republicans who objected to his sermon!