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Mama Deb
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December 2010
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Mama Deb [userpic]

Happy Birthday, magid!

I'm wearing a sweatshirt. It's an amazing feeling - I haven't been actually chilly during th day in so long that I can't remember.

That cold front came in rather suddenly, too.

About a month ago, we paid a shiva call for my cousin's husband. He was a lovely men - quiet and gentle - who'd died of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) after several years. We weren't close, but it's still a loss.

While we were there, his daughter invited us to her son's upshirenish. That is, he was about to turn three, and his hair would be cut for the first time. (The little boys under three are a very cute sight indeed, with their long curls and ponytails.) She said it would be motzei Shabbat after Rosh HaShanah in her mother's place.

So, even though I was feeling rotten (hormones, lovely,lovely hormones) and didn't want to go, and was tired and very, very whiny, I changed my clothes (my clothes were damp. It was hot and rainy and sticky, and I'd had to walk twenty minutes to a friend's house to give a talk. And one can't carry an umbrella on the Sabbath (it's building a roof) and I don't have a raincoat, so I walked as I was. And then back again.) and we called a cab and we waited and waited and waited, and then we called again, and just when we were about to give up, it showed up.

We'd tried to call my cousin to confirm, but her phone never picked up, so we could only guess it was still going on.

And we were wrong - the haircutting is tonight at 7PM, not last night.

But she welcomed us anyway, and fed us pizza and we chatted and watched tv on her huge set (something we honestly didn't expect in a Lubavitch household) and I looked at the wedding album for the latest wedding, which was less than a month before Shmuel entered the hospital for the last time. He was there. They made sure he was in the pictures, he took the father's part in the wedding of escorting his son down the aisle. And there was even a picture of him being lifted in his chair. It was lovely.

And then, as they called car service after car service to find one with a car, I mashed the potatoes for today's borekas and we chatted some more. And it was still hot when we got into the cab at 11:40PM.

When we left the cab at midnight, there was a bit in the air and there was fog on the windshields. The cold front had arrived.

Other notes - the house I'd gone to on Shabbat was on Ave R and E. 18th. I walked down Ave R on my way home. And as I did, plotting story to myself, I suddenly *stopped* at a corner. Something about it had just - touched me.

And then I looked at the street sign. East 14th Street. I'd lived on the corner of Ave R and East 14th St for ten years or so, from age 3 to age 13. I'd crossed that avenue every school day. I was, well.


I walked across E. 14th, tracing where I'd played and watched my brother play and rode a bike with training wheels and then would go to the candy store under the El (anyone else here remember candy stores?) to buy comics. Except it's changed a lot since then. I've been there since. We'd even looked at the old house when it was being shown, but it's still an odd feeling.

In other news, I have a lulav and esrog (also haddassim, but no aravot yet.) These are the four speces (palm branch, citron, myrtle and willow branches) that we wave during Sukkot. While it's not a general custom for women to own their own (it is a general custom for women to wave them, just not to own their own), I have had my own for over a decade. This year, I didn't expect to. Not because we wanted to change customs, but because the palm branches are in short supply for political reasons and we expected them to be twice the price and I just couldn't spend that much for what is not a true mitzvah for me.

But Jonthan got lulavim at the normal price, so *yay!*


Thank you!

I didn't know that palm branches are in short supply; the prices up here are what they usually are. What are the political issues?

Baruch Dayan Ha-emet for your cousin's husband.

And mazal tov on the occasion of an upsherin!

I'm beginning to wonder about that price thing.

The idea is that Egypt, who is a major supplier of lulavim, is now saying that that reduces the fruit harvest. Which it might, but I'd think selling the branches makes up for that. And they've never said that before, and are only selling a limited number of branches.

...for what is not a true mitzvah for me.

Query: how is lulav &etc not a mitzvah for women? and isn't it a mitzvah to have one's own for the first day (hence the not letting children use on the first day until all the adults are done 'cause minors can receive gifts but can't truly give them)?

It's not a mitzvah for women because it's time-bound.

And what happens the first day is a temporary transfer of ownership.

It's not a mitzvah for women because it's time-bound.

What's the required time? I thought it was all day.

Exactly. It's daytime. Just like the mitzvah for tzitzit.

I didn't say it was logical, did I? Or that it made sense?

It's not even required for women to eat in sukkot, and there are communities where the women *don't*. I mean, I take shameless advantage of that myself, but I do eat in one when I can.