Sunday, September 23, 2018

May It Be A Sukkot Of Kindness, Beauty, and Peace

The shul sukkah with Chef Nataliya
This  is another abbreviated episode, on accounta it's still Jewish holiday season and the next round begins at sundown: Sukkot. That's the one where we build little booths with thatched roofs. We're supposed to live in them, but these days, you take your meals in the sukkah when possible. 

The first year I was doing this blog thingee, I wrote  a pretty good piece explaining the holiday and some of the traditions. I'm not going to cut and paste, but here's the link: Exalted Guests....or WWJT: What would Jefferson Think? The tradition of inviting Ushpizin,  exalted guests, into one's sukkah, is really a magical tradition and one that I somehow manage to ponder anew every year. Who would I want to talk to this time? What questions would I want to ask? What questions would my guest have? And, being I can't help myself, what would I cook?  This year's guest list is tough. I have no idea who should sit at that table, who I want to have sit at that table. 

Artists. Architects. Musicians. Thinkers. NO POLITICS!

I am sick to death of politics and want none of that discussion at my table. I'm seriously tired of the garbage news, and the hate-speech that seems to be permanently attached to those mouths. I'm tired of vetting news stories. I'm tired of thinking, "Oh, that cannot possibly be true," only to find out it's not only is the story true but people are actually believing this crap they're reporting on in the first place. And no matter what I think, this crap spills into everyday conversation like so many toilet paper ads: really gross yet inevitable. 

Yes, folks, the moon is made of green cheese, and there is no such thing as global warming. And yes, all the Democrats are out there coming for all your guns. Shazaaam! You found us out! Happy now? Yes, it's your very own personal, constitutionally guaranteed right to read whatever baloney you wanna read and believe whatever you wanna believe. Yup. You've got the right to do just that. You've got the right to believe coal will come back, the seas won't  rise as the ice caps melt, the world really is flat, and that Spain shares a border with the Sahara Desert. That does not mean the rest of us have to agree. 

During this week of Sukkot, I am going to focus on art, music, beauty, and how we treat our world. I will be adventuring with Little Miss both this Monday and Tuesday, as well as next Monday and Tuesday. We will go to shul in the morning, eat lunch in the sukkah, and then have an afternoon adventure, just like I used to have with her dad, her uncle, and their cousins and friends. We will go to Como Zoo one day, weather permitting, and the science museum (where a friend of Uncle Senior Son is an exhibit builder and will take us behind the scenes) on the other. Someone wants another visit to the Art Institute next week, and at least one park...maybe even Hyland Park...if the weather is fine. But whatever Little Miss and I decide to do, there will be talk of autumn, of harvest, of Sukkot, and what we do to heal the world.  

She may be 3-not-quite-4, but she has a pretty good grasp on what is kind, what is needed, and stuff we can do together to make things better. She'll be a good one to invite as one of the Ushpizin; she's already got an opinion and it's worth hearing. 

I want Little Miss to see kindness in action, the beauty of both the creative world and the natural world, and to experience the peace that comes with the transcendence of sacred time. 

I'll let you know how it goes. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Ushpizin should be people you want to listen to.
Choose wisely.

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