Thursday, September 24, 2015

Christmas Lights and Sukkot

I have always thought Christmas lights are beautiful.  Growing up in a Crystal Lake, Illinois and being the only Jewish house on my block without lights I remember thinking about what type of lights I would put on my house if we did that sort of thing. I called my Mom today and asked if my sister and I had every asked for lights. She said we didn't that it wasn't really on the table for discussion so we didn't say anything. 

Lakeside Sukkah 2013
 My now adult children tell me that if we had to put up Christmas lights I would be in trouble.  They doubt my organizational skills although I have successfully decorated the Sukkah at Lakeside Congregation for the past 25 years. Granted I do have help from our the students, parents and families in both our Religious School and our Children's Center to make sure the decorations are fantastic.

My Sukkah, It eventually gets finished!
Having my own home for many years we have had a Sukkah in the back yard most years.  I thank my husband, Arthur Ehrlich and kids for getting it up.  It's a busy time of year and occasionally we just can't do it.  I enjoy decorating it and have bought some great lights which make it festive and also give off some light when we have dinner in the Sukkah.
This must have won a prize for best Sukkah lights

 In fact if you want to build a Sukkah you can google it and find many different ideas but I like this video from Moishe house the best.  It does not have to be an elaborate design.  You can use different types of materials.  You need to make sure it is not a permanent structure, it should have at least  3 and 1/2 walls and you should see the stairs at night.  You cover the roof of a Sukkah with Scach, a natural material which can be bamboo, wood or evergreen tree trimmings.

If you are not putting up a Sukkah at your house we are putting one up here at Lakeside and you can always come and help out here.  Feel free to bring your own decorations, gourds or even lights you would like to see in our Sukkah.

If you need more help in putting up a Sukkah or need to know where to get an Etrog and Lulav feel to email or give me a call.  Don't forget Pizza in the Hut at Lakeside, this Sunday September 27 at 6:00 pm.  RSVP to Lakeside. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Blog Elul, I am late to the party but still here. Blog #26 Create

I try every year to Blog Elul with my colleague Rabbi Phyllis Sommer.  What's the big deal about the month of Elul?  Here is what we learn from Rabbi Phyllis:

The Jewish month of Elul, which precedes the High Holy Days, is traditionally a time of renewal and reflection. It offers a chance for spiritual preparation for the Days of Awe. It is traditional to begin one’s preparation for the High Holy Days during this month with prayers of forgiveness, but I like to think of it as a whole-person preparation activity. We look to begin the year with a clean slate, starting anew, refreshed.

This year Elul started when I was on vacation and when I got home from vacation I began immediately planning for Lakeside's Hebrew and Religious School and our Adult education program.  Every day my blog got away from me.  Now as we approach Rosh Hashanah and the end of Elul I may be late but I am ready to go.  Today's topic is Create.  Perfect.

I enjoy working on my blog and over the summer I did blog from OSRUI and I love to create blogs not just from camp but weekly during the school year.  I am lucky that my job allows me to create in many different ways.  I create new programs like this year's first day of school, Day of Awesome. I also enjoy creating iMovies which highlight different programs at Lakeside, camp and my family.   

I look forward to a new year of creating in many different ways and modes.  Creating keeps me motivated and keeps my job refreshed.  This is my latest iMovie from the first day of Hebrew school and from my Kitah Aleph class.  It's just a taste of what we do.  Can't wait for the rest of the year!