Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Straight and to the Point

Succot in Jerusalem used to be a tense affair-like most other things that happen in that Holy City: I remember searching anxiously through vast piles of lulavim and etrogim [which didn't come in boxes then] along Mea Shearim,my head buzzing with halachic [legal] requirements,elbow-to-elbow with sharp eyed,sceptical hassidim and yeshiva students armed with magnifying glasses. When you thought you had a kosher etrog,you carried it gingerly up some backstairs to a balcony where an old white-whiskered rav sat and passed judgement on it,taking into account,I always felt,what he thought could be expected of you [he was always lenient with me].
Tsfat Succot is a different story- a whole lot more relaxed. Mr Buchriss has his table up in town [as do some 10-15 other hopefuls,some shouting their wares shuk-fashion] with some tempting-looking etrogim and this rather splendid line-up of lulavim. He used to run a flower-and-pet shop a few meters away,but has recently rented it out- "I was making too much money!" he explains to me with a straight face.


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