Cycles within cycles, within cycles
It was the last rainy morning today, but a moderate breeze blew the rains east, leaving a few scattered showers in its wake. By evening, the skies will clear and the temperatures will fall to the 60’s, which is darned chilly for us. The house is filled with the aroma of lamb cooking as Snookums prepares lamb and lintel stew for our guests tonight. This is day six of Sukkot, and if you all are getting as weary of hearing about the holy days as I am, there is only one more day to go to end Sukkot.
Tonight is our turn to host. It will be a bit too chilly to dine in the Sukkah, so we will go out for a brief dedication ceremony that I’ll not force upon you here, then return to the house for desserts following the meal.
However, this doesn’t end the holy days. There is a mysterious day that we are commanded to observe, called mystically Shemini Atzeret. The Eighth Day. We are not instructed how to observe it, we are just commanded to not it. I have many ideas of why this day is hidden, most of which are extremely lengthy to go into here, so we simply gather together to note the day. That evening, we finish the holy days with a ceremony we call Simchat Torah, or Joy of the Torah. It is not a biblically ordered holy day, but since we begin the yearly readings from the Torah Scroll next Shabbat, the Torah needs to be re-rolled. It is a festive event, and the congregation takes turns dancing around the room with one of the two Torah Scrolls we have, followed by the rewinding of the scrolls to begin the New Year.
After all that, routine once again rules the day. The Shabbats come and go. The New Moons (Rosh Chodesh) come and go. The tides ebb. The tides flow. And cycles that are too vast in scale for man to perceive rule.