September 29, 2007
The annual sukkah party
Today was the Shabbat of Sukkot and the 13th anniversary of the day Rik and I met. Since we married in 1995, we have held a sukkah party every year to share our anniversary.
[What's a sukkah, you ask? A sukkah is a temporary shanty Jews built in ancient times when living in the fields while bringing in the crops at harvest time. For more than two thousand years, during the festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles), Jews have built these shacks. The sukkah is made of all natural materials, and the roof is covered with just enough to allow one to see the stars at night. We decorate our sukkah with flowers, fruit, cards, toys and other tchatchkes.]
For our bar/bat mitzvah anniversary we borrowed a popular bar mitzvah celebration idea and made a collage of all the photos taken in the sukkah over the years. It was such fun to see how our friends' kids have grown over the years and how everyone's hair has gotten shorter or longer (or disappeared altogether). Today was cold and a little rainy, but about 40 people showed up and many of us crowded into the sukkah to take this year's photograph.
We snacked on a delicious buffet of (mostly) home-made delicacies: baba ganouj (smoky eggplant dip), white bean pate, ajvar (roasted read pepper puree) and various breads and crackers; potato-cheese and mushroom borekas; double cream brie, goat cheese, Bulgarian feta and Dubliner cheddar; fresh figs stuffed with goat cheese and drizzled with peppered honey; tomatoes from the garden; and of course lots of dessert, including chocolate-zucchini cake, espresso shortbread cookies, and honey cookies.
Everyone brought an item to hang in the sukkah, and we now have added to our collection more plastic fake fruit, a glass-shaped piece of "candy" and a huge paper apple that may not survive the night. This is the real meaning of the sukkah -- a reminder of the temporary nature of life.