Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Lulav and etrog, the symbols of Sukkot.

Went to shul on Sukkot, davened hard as I can,
Bring home my
lulav, you take my lulav, wave it with the Rabbi man.
I should have quit you, baby, such a long time ago.
I wouldn’t be here with all my troubles, down by this
sukkah door.

Squeeze my
esrig, till the juice runs down my leg.
Squeeze my
esrig, till the juice runs down my leg.
The way you squeeze my
esrig, I'm gonna fall right out of bed.

- Led Kreppilach

Whether you call it an esrig or an etrog (according to whether you swing with the Ashkenazim or the Sephardim), it’s still the same old Beautiful Fruit...the symbol of the beloved Jewish festival of Sukkot.

Last night, as the harvest moon rose full and bright - Sukkot always begins on the night of a full moon, exactly two weeks after the start of Rosh Hashanah - I thought of how our festivals and our calendar keep us connected with the physical world around us.

Every month begins with the thinnest sliver of the New Moon...and ends with the vanishing Old Moon.

Sukkot, because it is observed by taking meals in the eponymous sukkot - little booths, temporary structures roofed with leaves and branches through which one can see the stars and moon - is the perfect fall holiday. As the leaves begin to change color, we enjoy those crisp, cool mornings and those warm and pleasant evenings (here, anyway) outdoors, rather than at a remove, from the insular comfort of our houses.

It’s my favorite time of year.

And it should be. For I was born on the first day of Sukkot 56 years ago. Yes: It’s my Hebrew birthday!

Anybody got a good recipe for Esrig Meringue Pie?

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