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For the first time EVER, Moshe agreed to put our succah up early. So early, in fact, that even when he had to delay it by a week, he was STILL early!!
Now, for those who do not know us well, we are normally still putting up our succah just minutes before Yom Tov! (The succah must be completed before the holiday begins) There was even one year when we were so close to the last minute that, if I remember correctly, we did not have time left to put up decorations!
So, when Moshe and my son put up the frame on Friday afternoon, 3 days before Yom Kippur, I was so happy!! That same motzei Shabbat (Saturday night), they put on the s'chach!
Now, in our neighborhood, putting on the s'chach is a big deal! The winds here are extremely strong. If you don't fasten your succah well, you might not find it there in the morning! So, it took them plenty of time, and LOTS of azikonim (plastic 'zip ties', that are used in Israel for everything)!! But they did it!! Did I mention that it made me SO HAPPY!!
Technically, once the s'chach is up, our succah is kosher. It is built on our mirpeset (balcony), which has 3 walls and a ma'akeh (railing) that is high enough to count as a fourth wall (you only need 2 1/2 walls, so we have more than enough!). I suggested we leave the succah open, but Moshe wanted the walls, so he put those up with our son this Friday, erev Chag (before the Holiday). Then the girls hung our pine cone decorations and -- done!
Though clearly proud of his handiwork, Moshe asked me (not for the first time), "Will we even use it?"
I understood his query, after all, we spent Yom Tov with my sister in law in Hareisha (my in-laws were there too). And we are going all over the place, during the week.
"Of course we will use it!" I reassured Moshe. When we have a succah, we eat everything in the succah! And we will be home for several meals and at least some snack times!
Last night, when we returned home after Shabbat/Yom Tov, I planned to go straight to bed. My youngest had other plans. Cheerily, she starting schlepping sheets and a mattress out to the succah.
It was after 10:00 pm and she had a tiyul the next day! But she was determined to sleep in the succah. So, I offered to join her and she made a bed for me too!
I was a bit worried about sleeping on the floor, but she assured me that if I could camp out on a mizron shetach (field mat), I would be ok with a mattress on the floor! Who can argue with that? (Though, you might recall that I was not so comfortable, even on two mizronei shetach! remember?)
She was correct. My daughter, who gets her internal thermometer from Moshe, slept soundly next to me, in her summer nightgown, covered in a light sheet. Tucked under a blanket, wearing my comfy knitted hat and thermal PJs, I was snug as a bug in a rug!
This morning, my son noticed the mattresses in the succah. "Hey," he protested, "I also want to sleep in the succah!"
We are certainly using out succah!
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,