Home > cooking, judaism > Sukkot-Shemini Atzeret 5775 Post Mortem

Sukkot-Shemini Atzeret 5775 Post Mortem

The intermediate days of Sukkot got busy. We finally bought the new microwave and shopped and finalized invitations and so on.

I made chicken paprikash on Tuesday, between other things. This is a kosher version made without sour cream, even the fake stuff. I also make it with spicy kielbasa made by a local supermarket. It keeps well, freezes well and reheats beautifully. The plan was to serve it Thursday night and Friday lunch.

Wednesday, after a surprise brunch invitation by a young man in the neighborhood, I made Shabbat – lemon pepper chicken and roasted potatoes. Plus we did the last minute shopping.

Wednesday was the night of Shemini Atzeret, the eighth day festival. It’s the final official day of Sukkot, and a holiday of its own. There is therefore a question if one should eat in the sukkah that night, and so several customs.

One is to eat the full meal there, but without saying the blessing of dwelling there, since we’re not sure of commandment. Another is eat the whole meal indoors. The third is a compromise – say the blessings over wine and bread in the sukkah and complete the meal indoors. This last is what we’ve been doing.

Dinner that night was lamb chops, green beans and noodles, cooked then. Jonathan’s favorite, happily eaten in our dining room to rhythm of the rain we didn’t have to worry about.

We had lunch with friends the next day. I got to sit between two of our hosts’ grandchildren, while we discussed science fiction with their father. Who called us Mr. and Mrs. Baker. So cute.

That night was Simchat Torah. As all second day holidays, this is a purely Exile thing, where we celebrate the completion of the yearly Torah cycle, with singing, dancing and drinking. It’s a party. It’s so much fun that even in Israel, which doesn’t have second days, celebrates it in place of Shemini Atzeret.

Except that my father, obm, passed away on the night of Simchat Torah fifteen years ago. So it’s always very mixed for me. Also, the way my synagogue does things is very boring for women.

But there was a special kiddush that night that we sponsored. And there were kids doing cute things and people to talk to. And we were so tired by the time the extra long services ended that we had scrambled eggs for dinner. Not even an omelet.

We got out of shul at 2PM on Friday, which meant just enough time to eat lunch and prepare for Shabbat. Fortunately, I’d prepared it ahead of time. And we had a guest for Shabbat lunch, which was very nice. I do admit to counting the hours afterward. The holidays are wonderful, but it’s nice having a whole week ahead of me.

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