Sukkot started this past Friday night and runs through next weekend. We finished the sukkah on Saturday morning, just in time to eat lunch inside — complete with sweatshirts. In the last week, we’ve been fortunate that the weather has cooled off, so it’s sweatshirts in the sukkah for us. This afternoon, the kids added decorations that include a blow-up globe chandelier and miles of paper chains.
Here’s a picture of the sukkah:
Pictured: All of our clans plus neighborhood kids Faith and Daniel.
More about Sukkot: Wikipedia:Sukkot and a cholent recipe, traditional Sukkot fare.
I’m working with my partner on Bagels at Pride, a Jewish contingent for the annual Pride Parade in Atlanta. We’re enlisting Jewish organizations from all over the city to show support for gay rights.
We attend services at Or Hadash synagogue regularly. Rachel was part of the junior congregation today when Rabbi Analia asked what the kids’ favorite prayers were.
Rachel answered Adon Olam.
“Why?” asked the rabbi.
“Because it means the service is over and we get to eat,” said my lovely daughter.
Rachel likes the Miami Dance. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of it before because it turns out she’s referring to the Mayim Dance, an Israeli folk song about water:
read Mayim Mayim song lyrics or
listen to the song
The Brandeis University National Women’s Committee holds an annual used book sale in the Toco Hills neighborhood near our apartment. We visited the big tent last night and came home with some great deals.
Their selection of Jewish books is always great, so that’s what I hit first. Rach went to the kids’ books. She found about five books, mostly from series written for kids her age. With a $6 spending limit, Rach effectively was able to get all the books she wanted (and she still came in under her limit). She also lobbied for me to buy her a Hebrew workbook, “to practice, Mom.” I also picked up a Hebrew story book for English speaking kids learning the language.
This past Saturday, April 23, we held the first seder for Pesach/Passover. Rachel did a wonderful job reading the four questions in English. She asked why is this night different from all other nights, why we eat only matzah but not bread, why we dip our herbs twice, and why we eat while reclined. Aish.com has a great article about the four questions, titled Ma Nishtana (“The Four Questions”).
Before the seder, she was a huge help in cleaning for Pesach.
Sunday school met at The Bremen, Atlanta’s Jewish museum, to see its exhibit about The Golden Age of Comic Books. Wow!
I think Rachel’s favorite part was when she tried her hand at drawing a comic book villain. She also participated in a scavenger hunt to find artifacts on display.
Afterwards, it was the museum gift shop that captured her attention most. She “needed” nearly everything there.
Our synagogue, Congregation Bet Haverim, rents its office space in a home built of stone. We refer to this building as the Granite House.
Rachel prefers to call it the Granny House.
Today’s Easter and Rachel has little concept of what that means.
Last week, she asked if this was the holiday where “those people put that guy on the tree”. Religious sensitivity aside, I realized that she’s never had cause to learn what the holiday is about. It’s important she understand because my family is Christian. She should know why her Uncle Lehr, Aunt Nicole and Mom Mom observe this holiday.
I explained to her that Easter is about the death and resurrection of Jesus. She wanted to know why there’s a bunny and eggs associated with the holiday. “What do they have to do with Jesus?” she wanted to know. I was at a loss. Then I realized I could take it in the symbolism-for-rebirth direction. Turns out that doesn’t sit easily with an eight year old.
On a related note, Kroger was packed this afternoon. We always grocery shop on Sunday afternoons. Our Kroger is in a heavily Jewish section of town, so we have a nice selection of kosher meats available. But today, with half the grocery stores in town closed for Easter, the Kosher Kroger was quite crowded.
Our last soccer game was called on account of rain. The team is holding an end-of-season party at a local pizza parlor, so we will see all the girls together one last time. That’s great because Rachel made some great friends this season.
My favorite bit about coaching the more religious girls in a Jewish soccer league? Rachel had built-in Hebrew tutors on Sunday afternoons. Two 6 year-olds helped her with Hebrew pronouns (“he” means “she”) one day!
The worst part? Competitiveness. Is there a U8 league left where the kids are out there just to have fun and develop skills?
But my favorite quote from the season comes from my mom after attending a game: “When you played at the Y, the teams were sponsored by Joe’s Garage or Bob’s Bike Shop. Here, the teams are sponsored by Trial Attorneys and Plastic Surgeons.”