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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Yom Tov’

Chol Hamo’ed Sukkos

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Vol. LXIII No. 40                                                   5773

 

New York City
CANDLE LIGHTING TIME
October 5, 2012 – 19 Tishrei 5773
6:11 p.m. NYC E.D.T.

 

Sabbath Ends: 7:15 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Weekly Reading: Chol Hamo’ed Sukkos (see below)
Weekly Haftara: Chol Hamo’ed Sukkos (see below)
Daf Yomi: Shabbos 2
Mishna Yomit: nedarim 10:4-5
Halacha Yomit: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 129:1- 130:1
Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Metam’ei Mishkav u’Moshav chap. 13 – She’ar Avos ha’Tum’ah  chap. 2
Earliest time for Tallis and Tefillin: 6:03 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Latest Kerias Shema: 9:50 a.m. NYC E.D.T.

 

Fri. Erev Shabbos – All Tefillos as usual but with inclusion of Ya’aleh VeYavo.

Shabbos morning: Shacharis as usual but with inclusion of Ya’aleh VeYavo – Hallel, Hoshanos (no lulav), Kaddish Tiskabbel. We then read Koheles, followed by Kaddish Yasom. We remove two Sifrei Torah from the Ark: in the first we call 7 aliyos and read from Parashas Ki Tissa (Shemos 33:12-34:26). The Maftir reads from the second Sefer in Parashas Pinchas (Numbers 29:23-31). The Haftara is Ezekiel (38:18-39:16), Ve’haya Bayom Hahu. In Birchos HaHaftara we mention both Yom Tov and Shabbos.

   Yekum Purkan, Ashrei, half Kaddish, Musaf of Shalosh Regalim with Korbenos Hayom – U’vayom Harevi’i, U’vayom Hachamishi, U’minchasam.

Mincha – Ashrei, U’va LeTziyyon, Kerias HaTorah, three aliyos in Vezos HaBeracha, Shemoneh Esreh of Shabbos with Ya’aleh VeYavo.

Maariv – with Ata Chonantanu and Yaaleh VeYavo, NO Viy’hi No’am, Ve’ata Kadosh, Havdala in the sukkah. We add the beracha Leishev Basukkah.

Sunday is Hoshana Rabba. We treat this day with some of the gravity of Yom Kippur. Some who are scrupulous immerse themselves in a mikveh. The chazzan dons a kittel. The Mishna Berura (ad loc.) explains that donning the kittel signifies that this day is the point when the seal is affixed in our judgment. Thus some are accustomed to greet one another until Hoshana Rabbah with Gemar Chasima Tova.

The Pesukei deZimra are those of Shabbos and Yom Tov, but we do not say Nishmas – we substitute in its proper place Mizmor LeToda. Yishtabach (some congregations then say Shir Hama’alos mima’amakim while the Ark is open) is followed by half Kaddish. The chazzan then says Barechu and the congregation responds.

Birchos Kerias Shema are the weekday text, followed by the silent weekday Shacharis Shemoneh Esreh with Ya’aleh VeYavo and mention of Sukkos. Following the chazzan’s repetition we take the lulav and esrog in hand for the last time on this festival and recite the blessing Al netilas lulav. We wave the lulav to all six sides, the four cardinal points and up and down, in the order of one’s custom. We hold the Four Species in our hand as we recite the whole Hallel. At Hodu and Ana Hashem we again wave the lulav in the customary manner.

Some congregations – Nusach Sefarad and some Nusach Ashkenaz – are accustomed to recite the Hoshanos after Hallel while others (most Ashkenaz) recite them following Mussaf. For Hoshanos we remove all the Torah scrolls from the Ark. With the Four Species in our hand, we continue to recite the Hoshanos – but on this day we go around the Bimah not once as we do on each day of Sukkos but seven times – saying all the Hoshanos as found in our machzorim.

When we reach the verses Ta’aneh emunim, we set aside the Four Species and take the willow branches – the chabata, which is a bunch of 5 willows bound together). At the conclusion of the Hoshanos we bang the chabata on the ground. The chazzan then recites Kaddish Tiskabbel. Then the congregation says the Shir shel Yom and LeDavid Hashem Ori and their respective mourners Kaddish recitals.

We remove one Sefer Torah from the Ark – we add the Thirteen MiddosRibbono shel Olam. We call 4 aliyos (Kohen, Levi, Yisrael, Yisrael) we read in Parashas Pinchas (Numbers 29:26‑34). The 4th aliyah repeats verses 29:29-34.

We return the Sefer Torah to the Ark, the chazzan recites half Kaddish and we say the silent Shalosh Regalim Shemoneh Esreh of Mussaf. Following the chazzan’s repetition he recites Kaddish Tiskabbel. Some congregations say Hoshanos now (most Ashkenaz – see above for procedure).

We conclude the service with Ein K’Elokeinu, Aleinu, Shil shel Yom, LeDavid Hashem Ori and their respective mourners Kaddish recitals.

Z’man Simchasenu – The Time of Our Happiness

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Sukkos! What an exciting Yom Tov! So many different mitzvos, each with their own color and flavor. Dwelling in the sukkah, taking the 4 species, dancing at the simchas beis hashuava and on Simchas Torah … Nevertheless, there is one theme which runs through all these aspects. “Vesamachta bechagecha atah uvincha, uvitecha, ve’avdecha, va’amasecha, vehaLevi, vehager, vehayasom. veha’almanah asher bish’areycha – You shall rejoice on your festival along with your son and daughter, your male and female slave, and the Levite, proselyte, orphan and widow from your settlements” (Devorim 16:14). This extensive list makes it quite clear to us: Everyone should be b’simcha on Sukkos! Hence in Shemoneh Esrei we refer to Sukkos as “Z’man simchasenu – the time of our Happiness.” During every Yom Tov we must be happy, but regarding Sukkos the Torah commands us three times to be b’simcha, more so than any other Yom Tov. Why is this Yom Tov the happiest one?

Furthermore, if we are supposed to be in a state of happiness, why specifically now must we leave our comfortable, climate-controlled homes and live in a primitive hut? And why do many have a custom to read the megilla of Koheles – Ecclesiastes, on the Shabbos during Sukkos? In it, Shlomo HaMelech tells us how he had fabulous wealth and materialistic pleasures. Nevertheless, he describes it all, again and again, with one word: “Hevel – Emptiness!” Why do we read what seems to be a depressing megillah during the time of joy?

Chag Ha’asif – The Festival of Ingathering

The midrash (Yalkut Vayikra 654) reveals to us one of the reasons for the extra simcha: “and because now all the crops have been brought into the storehouses.” This can be seen from the fact that the Torah (Devorim 16:13) points out that Sukkos is “be’ospecha migornecha umiyikvecha” when we bring in from the threshing floor and wine vat. Hence, another name of Sukkos is Chag Ha’asif – The Festival of Ingathering. We can certainly imagine the great joy of the farmer as he fills his storehouses after almost a year of toil and anticipation. At this time of extreme happiness the Torah commands us to celebrate Sukkos. Why?

Human nature is to constantly look forward to the future. A young boy looks forward to his bar mitzvah, and after that toward his graduation, and after that to his wedding, and then to his first child, and so on. This is quite unfortunate, as we never enjoy what we have presently. The Torah is teaching us that before we begin the new planting season, we should look back at what we have and appreciate it. This of course is not limited to those who have farms. We all should look back at what we received over the past year and thank Hashem for it.

But this raises a different question. Since we are celebrating last year’s bounty, shouldn’t Sukkos be celebrated before the New Year starts?

Hevel

Let us return to Koheles. How is it that Shlomo HaMelech just wipes away great portions of Hashem’s creation with one word, calling them empty? If Hashem created them, obviously they have a purpose! And furthermore – if these things are all empty, why did Shlomo have them?

The Sefer Otzar Hachaim gives a beautiful explanation. We all know that “zero” has no value. However if we put a “one” next to it, it becomes significant. The more “zeros” after the “one” the greater the value is! Shlomo Hamelech is telling us that if we view materialism as a goal in itself, it is one big zero – hevel. However, if we realize that all materialism is a way to reach spirituality, it takes on a new perspective. This is why the megillah ends off: “Sof davar hakol nishma, es Elokim yira v’ies mitzvosov shimor, ki zeh kol hadam – In the end all is heard, fear Hashem and keep His mitzvos for this is the purpose of man.” This posuk teaches us the true purpose of the world – to keep Hashem’s mitzvos.

This message became clearer to us during the Yomim Hanoraim, as stated in the midrash. “L’Dovid, Hashem Ori V’yishi - Hashem is my light and salvation – Hashem is our light on Rosh Hashana and our salvation on Yom HaKippurim.” On Rosh Hashana, a great light shined, which showed us the true purpose of the world. Spirituality and closeness to Hashem is our only goal. By dwelling in the King’s presence for two days our outlook changed. And then on Yom Kippur we showed Hashem who the real “me” is and how showed regret for all of our past pursuits of worldly pleasures. He then saved us from any harsh verdict which may have been written for us.

SWEETS to the SWEET!

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Dear Rachel,

As I write this letter, it is chaotic in many homes where children are between camp and school, which has not yet started. Kids running in and out of the house are always looking to munch on something, and exasperated moms let them raid the nosh cabinet.

But it doesn’t start here. This past summer I discovered that sending children to sleep away camp means having to send them a package from home at least once a week. It takes little imagination to guess what those packages are filled with: candy, cookies, chips and chocolate, and more candy. Bags and bags of them. A dentist’s dream; they will earn enough to put all their children through college for sure.

When my kids were younger and went away to camp, I too let them know I was thinking of them; I sent them a goody box twice – if they were there for the entire season. The problem begins with the children who arrive in camp loaded with enough nosh to open a canteen of their own. This creates envy on the part of the “unluckier” kids whose luggage contains only the required clothing and bed linen items, and a case of bottled water.

Why do camps allow this ridiculous abuse to run rampant? Yes, I said abuse. It’s abuse of our children’s physical and mental capacities, abuse of our wallets and abuse of the camp’s food allotments. (The leftovers from meals served to campers whose systems are overloaded on garbage can feed a small army.)

To begin with, camps should limit the amount of candy each child brings or hoards, and they should furthermore place limits on the contents of packages received by campers. Parents of moderate means have a hard enough time meeting the expenses involved in sending their kids to camp without having to go to this ridiculous added expense. And what about the frustration of parents who go all out promoting proper nutrition in the home, only to have their efforts dashed in the span of a summer season in camp?

I was always under the impression that the whole idea of sending kids off for the summer is to give them the advantage of fresh air, sunshine and exercise — after being cooped up for long winter months. Seems to me that all of this permissive unhealthy gorging somehow defeats the purpose we had in mind to begin with.

In this day and age no one can claim ignorance of the value of nutrition or feign oblivion of the benefits of wholesome foods to young, developing minds and bodies. If I may, I’d like to suggest readers check out the excellent Health & Living insert of the August 31st issue of The Jewish Press (if they haven’t yet done so). It has some great articles and one of them discusses the effects of sugary cereals that are a big part of many children’s food fare. The author of the piece speaks about these kids’ behavioral issues in school and of how they’re easily frustrated, mistake-prone and devoid of energy as their day progresses.

I would also like to address the shul Candyman whose sweet nature has young admirers flocking to him in droves: Would it be so terrible to hand out healthier treats to our children? How about substituting honey-wheat pretzels, kettle-baked chips, almonds, raisins and other dried fruit for the empty calorie kind of sweets? Even if the kids fill up on them and skip dinner, they’ll at least have had some nutrients in their system.

A Concerned Bubby

Dear Concerned,

Ouch! You laid the goo on thick. Sometimes facing the truth is almost as uncomfortable as sitting in the dentist’s chair. By pointing out the folly of feeding our kids junk, you may have touched on some other sticky issues.

Can parents (of kids who are in camp) be spoiling them out of guilt for their glee in having them out of their hair? Maybe those packages are meant to keep them happy so that they G-d forbid don’t entertain any notions of coming home early. Or perhaps this is just some parents’ way of saying “we miss you tons.”

If I recall correctly from years back, at least one girls’ camp confiscated incoming packages and kept the stuff in the camp office, allowing the camper just a minimal of its content. I believe the camp had instituted a “no food packages allowed” rule at the start and made sure to enforce it. Many campers were no doubt disappointed, but the headaches associated with these packages – such as peer envy, tummy aches, no appetite for dinner, bugs in the dorms, increased tooth decay – were avoided.

Yom Kippur

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Even Moses, who spoke with God one on One, was not allowed to see Him during his lifetime. “You cannot see my face, for no man shall see me and live.”

Ultimately, we shall all see God one on one, and face not only Him but also ourselves and the lives we led. Our desire to see Him will then be consummated and His existence will be proven beyond all doubt, but our ability to repent and prepare ourselves for that Day of Judgment will have passed.

And so one day a year God gives us the opportunity to come as close to Him as humanly possible and still repent. Yom Kippur is a dress rehearsal of sorts. We wear the shrouds in which we will ultimately face Him, and we discard the shoes we will no longer need. We don’t eat, drink or bathe as we stand alone before Him. We crowd the synagogue, just as the throngs of Israelites crowded the Temple, praying, fasting and waiting with bated breath for the High Priest to successfully complete the Yom Kippur Temple Service. For if the High Priest does not survive the day, Israel might not survive the year.

And before the silent and anxious crowd, the High Priest walks the tightrope between life and death from dawn to dusk. One procedural slip in the Temple service and it will be all over, just as it was for Aaron’s sons whose bodies had to be retrieved from the Holy of Holies. The High Priest’s task is not easy and the stakes are high. Single-handedly he has to juggle the performance of the daily Temple service and the special Yom Kippur service, darting as he does so back and forth between the Holy of Holies, the Temple Sanctuary and the Temple Courtyard.

Fifteen sacrifices, (two lambs for the daily sacrifice, one bullock, one ram and seven lambs for the Mussaf sacrifice, one bullock for the priests’ atonement, one ram for the people’s burnt offering, one he-goat for the people’s atonement and, finally, the scapegoat which is sent to die in the wilderness) have to be slaughtered and offered up by the High Priest on Yom Kippur.

The High Priest must, among other things, sprinkle the sacrificial blood on the altars, offer up the incense, burn the limbs of the animals on the altar, prepare the Sanctuary lamps for lighting, offer up the baked cakes of the High Priest, pour the drink offerings, confess his own, his family’s and the priests’ sins, cast lots for the two he-goats, tie a crimson ribbon on the head of the scapegoat, pray for the welfare of the people, confess their sins and read to them from the Torah.

Each of the five times the High Priest enters the Holy of Holies to perform the Yom Kippur service he must change out of his routine gold garments into his Yom Kippur white garments so as not to remind God of the sin of the golden calf. Each time the High Priest enters the Temple Sanctuary or Temple Courtyard to perform the daily Temple service, he must change back into his gold garments. And between each change of garments he must wash his hands and feet and then immerse himself in the cold waters of the Temple ritual bath.

The precision required and the time constraints imposed make the High Priest’s task almost humanly impossible. Indeed, according to the Midrash’s interpretation of Leviticus 16:17, when entering the Holy of Holies the High Priest was temporarily transformed into a ministering angel. We are told that when the High Priest finally emerged from the Holy of Holies, alive and well and having successfully completed his mission, he was swept up by the waiting crowds who celebrated with him deep into the night.

The Midrash relates that during Moses’s 40-day visit to the mountain of God, he overheard and memorized the angels’ secret prayer “Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuto Leolam Vaed” – “blessed is the name of His Glorious Kingdom forever.” When Moses returned to the Jews he taught them the prayer but cautioned them to utter it under their breath so that the angels would not detect the infringement. On Yom Kippur, however, when we most closely resemble angels, we are asked to recite this prayer out loud.

Parshas Ha’azinu

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Vol. LXIII No. 39                                 5773

 

New York City
CANDLE LIGHTING TIME
September 28, 2012 – 12 Tishrei 5773
6:22 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Sabbath Ends: 7:26 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Weekly Reading: Ha’azinu
Weekly Haftara: VaYedabber David (II Samuel 22:1-51)

Daf Yomi: Berachos 58
Mishna Yomit: Nedarim 8:7-9:1
Halacha Yomit: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 128:25-27
Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Tum’as Tzara’as, chap. 8-10
Earliest time for Tallis and Tefillin: 5:55 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Latest Kerias Shema: 9:48 a.m. NYC E.D.T.

 Shabbos: All tefillos as customary, except we do not say Av HaRachamim nor do we make Ke-l Moleh Rachamim, nor Tzidkos’cha, and at Maariv, Motza’ei Shabbos we do not say Vi’yehi Noam v’Atah Kadosh.

Sunday, erev Sukkos: Aside from our erev Yom Tov preparations, we have to make sure that the sukka we will use is finished and ready to accommodate us for fulfilling the mitzva of eating and sleeping in the sukka. This is also the last opportunity to acquire the Four Species: esrog, lulav, hadassim and aravos. These should preferably be of exceptional quality – mehuddarim – but have to satisfy, at the very least, the minimum requirements qualifying them as kosher to fulfill the mitzva (see Orach Chayyim 645‑650, Hilchot Lulav).

We light candles at 6:21 p.m., N.Y.C. E.D.T. that is, 20 minutes before shekiah (sunset), and recite Lehadlik ner shel Yom Tov as well as Shehecheyanu. Mincha: Usual weekday tefilla. Maariv: Usual service for Yom Tov, as found in the Machzor. The Shemoneh Esreh is that of Shalosh Regalim. At the conclusion of the Shemoneh Esreh the chazzan says Kaddish Tiskabbel, Aleinu, LeDavid Hashem Ori (Sefarad have said LeDavid Hashem Ori following Mincha) and their respective Mourner’s Kaddish recitals.

In congregations where it is the custom to recite Kiddush in the synagogue after Maariv, Kiddush can only be publicly recited in synagogues where a sukka is available.

Eating in the sukka: Upon returning home we do not tarry but go straight to the sukka (lest it rain later on). We recite the appropriate Ushpizin (lit. invitation of guests) to welcome to our sukka the seven faithful shepherds of the people of Israel – Avraham, Yitzhak, Yaakov, Yosef, Moshe, Aharon and David Hamelech. On each of the seven days one of them is the guest of honor leading the others, starting with our Patriarch Avraham on the first night. We then recite the Kiddush of Yom Tov. We say four berachos: Borei pri hagafen, Mekaddesh Yisrael ve’hazemanim, Leishev basukka, and Shehecheyanu.

On the first night one is duty‑bound to eat in the sukka even if it involves tza’ar (pain). This does not apply on the other nights and days, when one who is extremely uncomfortable (due to rain, or extreme cold, etc.) is relieved of this obligation (see Orach Chayyim 640:4 and Rema ad loc., who qualifies this halacha; see also 639:2, Rema, regarding sleeping in the sukka).

If it rains on the first evening (and the rain is such that it is not likely to stop), we make Kiddush in the sukka, we wash (for bread) and eat a kezayit (olive‑size) piece of challah in the sukka, and then return to the house to eat the rest of the meal. (Commenting on a discussion regarding how long one is required to wait for the rain to stop, the Mishna Berura (O.C. 639:5) notes that it is proper to wait no longer than until midnight.)

In Birkas Hamazon we say Ya’aleh VeYavo and HaRachaman hu yakim lanu es sukkas David hanofales during the seven days of Sukkos. Each meal (or snack) requires the blessing of Leishev basukka as well as the appropriate berachos for the various foods.

Shacharis, Monday morning: Pesukei DeZimra, and chazzan chants from HaKeil. Kerias Shema follows the weekday pattern, then the silent Shemoneh Esreh of Shalosh Regalim, followed by the chazzan’s repetition.

Lulav and Esrog: We take the lulav (to which 3 hadassim are bound on the right side and 2 aravos on the left side – see Mishna Berura, Orach Chayyim 651:1) in our right hand and the esrog (upside down, the pitom facing downside) in our left hand and recite the berachaAl netilas lulav …” in a manner oveir le’asiyasan, that is, before we have physically accomplished the taking of the lulav and esrog. We next recite Shehecheyanu with the esrog in an upright position (the pitom facing upward) and wave the lulav in six directions.

Revaluing Motherhood

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

It is ten o’clock in the morning. I am at a local park with my daughter. A number of children are climbing and sliding, imbibing the fresh air. In their orbit are a smaller number of women, some milling around on foot, others sitting on the benches conversing and minding strollers. Trailing my own child, I play a silent game: Who is a Mommy? Which, if any, of these women (who range from lovingly attentive to disturbingly disengaged) are the children’s mothers, and which are babysitters?

These days, a majority of women in the frum community go to work. Whatever the calculus, few make a full-time occupation of childrearing. This is not a value judgment but a fact. Whereas frum women juggling career and family once felt alone and disparaged, their struggles and triumphs are now much better appreciated within the Orthodox community. Whether in Flatbush, Teaneck, or Yerushalayim, it’s not hard for a stressed-out working mother to find fellow gainfully employed n’shei chayil who know just what she’s going through.

Those of us who toil full-time in motherhood have become a minority, our numbers decreasing as the younger generation embarks on family-building in a Jewish world where working mothers are the norm.

When I was a child, only a couple of my friends’ mothers worked. Both worked in the neighborhood, one on a part-time schedule. No one was picked up by a babysitter, though grandparents figured prominently at pickup time. There were afternoon play dates, occasional midday runs to school to drop off a forgotten assignment or permission slip, and a generally less frenetic sense of pacing. Today, a majority of mothers in my children’s schools work in some capacity outside the home. The landscape has changed. The cultural tide has shifted.

Undoubtedly, financial pressure is the primary factor that has led so many Orthodox women into the workforce. I am not, chas v’shalom, here to criticize working mothers or judge the very personal calculations that go into each woman’s decision. It is what it is, as they say. Living a religious life, raising a frum family – in many cases just getting by at all – takes an awful lot of money these days. (Even without expensive vacations or Jacadi yontiff outfits for the kids.) And regardless of the reasons behind it, working does not, in and of itself, make one a lesser mother, or a better one, any more than not working does.

Good parenting is, as our pediatrician would say, “multi-factorial.”

Before I go further, let me offer a little background. I worked for several years after college in the publishing field, then (still single) returned to school for a law degree, then (newly married) worked in that field for a couple of years, and then, after the birth of my first child, took maternity leave and never went back.

Here I am, five years later, a stay-at-home mother (I prefer the term “full-time mother”). We are neither rich nor poor. There is no money tree in our backyard – living in an apartment, we don’t actually have a backyard – so we struggle like the rest of the masses. But my being there to care for our children – physically, emotionally, spiritually – is of supreme value to my husband and me, and with siyata d’Shmaya we have managed so far.

And let me tell you: It’s lonely out here. When my oldest was a baby, I was part of a Mommy & Me group organized by another frum mother. Of the six women who participated, half now work. When my second child was a baby, a friend and I wanted to organize a Mommy & Me group but had a hard time finding enough Mommies to join. Eventually, we managed to form a small group, which included one babysitter and two mothers who have since gone back to work. Last year, I joined a women’s rosh chodesh group that meets, with babies and toddlers in tow, to watch a Torah-inspired video presentation one morning each month. Now, as we try to shore up membership for the new Jewish calendar year, it’s harder than ever to find women who are available to come.

No, I am not looking for sympathy. I feel truly fortunate to be in this position. But it is worth noting that full-time mothers these days are hard-pressed to find the kind of moms-in-the-trenches camaraderie that provided much-needed support to similarly situated women in the past.

The Oldest Story In The World

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

“This is the day of the beginning of your creation,” we read in our Yom Tov prayer books. According to Jewish tradition, Rosh Hashanah marks the day of the creation of Adam and Eve, and on that very day they proclaim God as King of the Universe.

And yet, as we know from the very first story in the book of Genesis, the glory of that day is short-lived. Within hours, Adam and Eve eat from the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Their eyes are opened. They become aware that they are naked and they are ashamed.

In a recent essay in a secular-oriented Jewish weekly, a woman describes a modern re-enactment of this tale. Her faith in God is shattered when she reads the book Cosmos and discovers a “mind-defying universe where distances are so vast that they are measured in light years.”

She is sorry to have read it because now she knows “God’s terrible secret, that this universe is large, and that He pounds out worlds like matzo balls, as many as He pleases, without so much as glancing at Earth.”

Though she had once felt close to God, she no longer knows how to integrate a personal God into her world.

“I tried to understand God,” she writes. “I mean, we humans have always wanted a God that is all-great and all-powerful, but not quite like that. Just enough so we could pretend He is a lot like us and we are enough like Him, and that the universe is not much larger than our minds.”

The god she had created in her own image has been shattered.

The loss of her innocence is not unlike the loss of innocence we all experience as we travel from childhood to adulthood. Once upon a time, we knew that our parents were all knowing and all powerful, that they loved us more than anything, and that we were perfect in their eyes. We knew good people were rewarded and bad people were punished so they would mend their ways. We knew God had created the world and that He listened to our prayers.

And then one day, sudden as a death, we lost our innocence. We learned that our parents were not perfect and neither were we; that truth, if it existed, would not be simple, but convoluted and twisted and complex. We no longer knew if we mattered in this unfathomable world, and how God could really know us or wish to do so.

Like Adam, like Eve, like countless people who have crossed this earth, we taste the fruit and are banished from Eden.

But that is not the end of the story. All of our history is a journey to find redemption and recapture what was lost.

We cannot remain childish in our understanding but we pursue always the wish to be childlike in our knowledge. While a simplistic faith cannot sustain us, we still seek a place where our faith is simple.

There is a chassidic tale of an ignorant shepherd boy who came to the synagogue and, unable to read the prayers, pierced the heaven with his heartfelt cries and whistles. We do not envy his ignorance. And yet no matter how sophisticated and subtle our understanding, we long to be able to utter a prayer as sincere as his shepherd’s call.

The true Jewish “coming of age story” is not about loss, but about search. The search for a teacher, for a mentor, for a deeper and stronger faith – one as sure and unquestioning as the faith of a child, and yet bold enough, brave enough, to heal our fragmented world.

Perhaps that is why the Jewish New Year begins in the fall. As the gold and glitter of summer dims and fades, as the days grow shorter and the leaves crumble, there is a death of innocence. And yet from amidst the death, new life springs forth.

The shofar is simple ram’s horn, an instrument without subtlety or gradation. The sound, say the chassidic masters, is like the call of a child. It is blown on Rosh Hashanah in a rhythmic sequence. First a tekiah – a long, simple cry. Then the shevarim, a broken call, with three shorter blasts. Then the teruah, with nine staccato sounds, like a sob. And finally a longer tekiah, which goes on and on with a slow exhaling of breath.

Fresh, Colorful & Tasty Sukkos Ideas

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

One year we went out for a meal and instead of bringing along the usual chocolates or wine, I offered the hostess an array of colorful salads. After seeing how muchthey were enjoyed, I thought it would be nice to recreate them. All these salads can be made a day in advance and refrigerated until serving time, making them ideal for a hectic, busy Yom Tov time of year. Besides, it’s always nice to have something different and delicious to serve when extra guests and family come over…

Colorful Baby Corn and Pea Salad

Serves 10

All Photos by: Reuven AnshServes 10

Ingredients for salad

3 cans of baby corn, each chopped into small, bite sized pieces
2 cups frozen peas, thawed, NOT boiled
1 medium size Spanish or red onion, sliced into half rings
1 red pepper, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced

Ingredients for dressing

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

In a large bowl combine chopped baby corns and the frozen and thawed peas. (If you are pressed for time, simply rinse the peas for a minute under tap water, using an ordinary sieve. Then drain them briefly and add them in.)

Then add the peppers and red onion.

Pour the dressing ingredients over all and mix well. Place the salad in a covered container and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Presents beautifully every time!

Red & Green Cabbage Sala
Serves 8

Ingredients for salad

1 small head red cabbage, shredded (or use a half bag prepared shredded cabbage for each color), about 2 cups of shredded cabbage
2 cups of shredded cabbage
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small green apple, diced
1 scallion, diced
1 medium sized firm cucumber, peeled and diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup slivered almonds, optional

Ingredients for dressing

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup light mayonnaise, optional

Place all the shredded and diced vegetables and fruits in a large bowl and toss. Chill the salad in a covered container until serving. In a separate small bowl, mix together the Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, sugar, parsley, olive oil and mayonnaise. If you prefer the dressing thicker, you can whisk it up in a blender instead of doing it by hand. Directly before serving, drizzle the dressing over the salad, toss it well and serve.

And here’s to one more simple yet different salad…

Mushroom and Pepper salad
Serves 6

I’m a real fan of mushrooms in whatever form they come. I made up this recipe years and years ago and somehow never thought to publish it before now. It couldn’t be simpler.

Ingredients for salad

1 large can of mushrooms or two smaller cans OR 2 boxes of fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 red pepper, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1-2 scallions, sliced

Ingredient for dressing

1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt (you may need more salt if you are using fresh mushrooms, the canned ones have salt already added)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried dill

Directions

Just put all the mushrooms and diced vegetables into a large bowl. Add in the dressing ingredients and toss to mix well. Leave it to marinade in the fridge, covered, for several hours or overnight. Serve in a pretty dish and watch your guests enjoy!

If there’s anything left over, you can serve it the next day over some shredded lettuce or other greens…

This last recipe is an all time favorite in my family. I got the idea from my mother-in-law, Mrs. Gloria Ansh of Teaneck, NJ. No matter what the age, from two year olds to seniors, this recipe is always a favorite. I enjoy serving it as a second main dish to the Shabbos Chol Hamoed day meal but really, it can be used any time you want a kid friendly recipe that every person at the table will reach for…

Chicken Schnitzelettes
(Well, that’s my personal name for them! Others would call them ‘nuggets’)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/food/recipes/fresh-colorful-tasty-sukkos-ideas/2012/09/23/

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