Friday, October 9, 2009

Since I last wrote, Sukkot has nearly come and gone.
Religiously, it was the most bizarre Sukkot of my life.
On the first night I went with Neti and his family to his cousin's sukkah nearby. It was really nice to eat a (delicious!) home-cooked meal and be with a big family with lots of noisy kids running around.
But in the morning I didn't go to shul, and now that I'm thinking, I haven't shaken a lulav and etrog at all.
We DID have a sukkah at the Metzudah (that we built and decorated) and didn't eat in it for every meal, but we did specifically have one dinner during which we ate in the sukkah and sang songs (in Israel there are Sukkot songs!) I ALSO slept in the Sukkah (twice) forthe first time in mylife, which was very veryneat.
On Tuesday I was "Toranit" which means I don't participate in the normal activities; instead, I (and one other person, Assi) worked in the kitchen (cutting salad, etc.) and cleaned (bathrooms, floors, etc.) all day. We actually had a lot of fun, but didn't have enough time to shower before.... driving up to Jerusalem forthe night. SURPRISE! (I didn't know that washappening). We went to Mea She'arim (basically a Hasidic enclave in the middle of Jerusalem). When you walk in you sortof think you've been teleported to 1800s Poland. Everyone wearing long skirts and jackets and the black hats....
Anyway, it was an interesting experience, even though I didn't (obviously) agree with everything they said to us. The woman who took us around warned us: "I hope nothing will happen to you here, I hope no one will throw anything and that the worst will be nasty words, but be prepared that something might [because there are girls wearing pants, which is against the dress-code]." (We did hear some nasty words, but no one threw anything).
We were there for something called "Simchat Beit Ha'shoeva" which is basically men dancing every night of sukkot to emulate something that happened during Sukkot when the Beit Hamikdash was still built. The women? They stand in a cage-liked thing aboveand watch through a window the men dancing. The woman who took us said "there's nothing like watching the men dancing" I wanted to ask her--WHY DON'T YOU DANCE FORYOURSELF!? I think that was basically the major theme (for the girls) of the night: why are you restrained, why don't you do things for yourself, overthrow this patriarchy... it was actually nice to see the feminist side of the girls at the Mechina, because it rarely shows through.
We ended up leaving at 2:30 am.
In the morning I went to the Defense Minister (Ehud Barak) sukkah. more later.

No comments:

Post a Comment