One thing I must preface this with is that I love One Day Yom Tov. The point of continuing two days of yom tov in the Diaspora (and in the case of this year three straight days due to the adjacency of Shabbat for both Sukkot and Simchat Torah) is lost on me. I will continue to celebrate the second day of Yom Tov when I return to the Golus (Exile) but I'm not gonna be happy about it...
Sukkot is quite an experience in the City of God. As I mentioned in my previous post pretty much everyone seems to have one here. In fact, I read a poll in Wednesday's free Hayom newspaper that said that 48% of all Israelis will build a sukkah, in particular 62% of Jerusalemites. It also splits the total into four categories by religious observance: 31.7% of Chilonim (secular Jews), 54.7% of Masorti (Conservative-ish Jews (aka my people)), 72.6% of Dati (Orthodox), and 94.6% of Haredi (Ultra-orthodox) are building Sukkot for the holiday.
And pretty much every restaurant I pass by has its own sukkah due to the fact that all meals must be taken in there. The ones that don't have sukkot might have less patronization this week due to the mitzvah that one must eat in the sukkah. I went to a restaurant tonight in which they removed the glass roof and replaced it with schach (plant covering that must be used for the roof), a place called New Deli (tagline "Sandwich! Sandwich!"; at least it's better than Moshiko's cryptically Yakov Smirnoff-esque "יש אנשים שקונים פלאפל, כאן פלאפל קונה אנשים" which literally translates as "Some people buy falafel, here falafel buys people")
I also went to the Lulav and Etrog Shuk on Tuesday (which is much more pleasant-smelling then the Kapparot Shuk a few days earlier). I bought as set of Lulav, Etrog, and Hadas for 50 shekel and when I got home the pitam was missing from my etrog. I ran back (actually this time I took the bus, I wasn't going to take another hour walk each way from Emek Refaim to Machaneh Yehudah) and the guy immediately replaced my etrog with no questions asked. Fast forward to the first day of sukkot at the Kotel where I was at the front left corner of the outdoor section of the Wall. Let's just say that it's a bad idea to leave your etrog in a box on a shtender. I really don't like the packaging that they use in Israel which is similar to the things they use to protect Asian Pears. I miss the foam stuff... Anyway, Gamzu L'Tovah.
The humidity has returned with a vengance and that's not good considering we do a lot outside during this holiday. Though I've mulled sleeping in our sukkah it's just too hot at night. I need the AC.
Finally, I ams seriously thinking of going to Hebron sometime in the next two days with friends to go to the Cave of Machpelah which is completely open. There are only ten days during the year in which Jews have unfettered access to it and Sunday and Monday are two of them. Hopefully all of our places of worship will be completely open to us soon. I would love to be able to daven on the Temple Mount...
Plus it looks like there is going to be an amazing Simchat Beit HaShoevah there Monday with Lipa Schmelzer. Anybody know anything about this Parade of Nations in Jerusalem?
Anyway Shavuah tov and Chag Sameach