It's High Holiday season in the Holyland right now. I don't think there's another way to describe this amazingly festive and spiritual time in words. For those of you outside of Israel, it's like X-mas season. The festivity is a constant in the air only it's very very hot here now... Like summer. After the holiest day of atonement, Yom Kippur, neighbors all around set out into their yards and porches and began to hammer away at their Sukkot. These are 2.5 to 4 walled structures with thatched roofs that we lavish and adorn with homemade and store bought decorations.
Sukkot is my favorite holiday. In 2001 it got even better with the birth of my first child, a daughter, A. and again the meaning of the holiday was intensified with the birth of our 4th child and 3rd daughter, H., in 2007. For the past few years, I've enjoyed having my family come and celebrate the holiday with us, including my parents and five brothers and their families. I'm so excited that everyone is coming to spend the Sukkot holiday with us this year too! We spent the day fussing with the Sukkah decorations and birthday rituals. My mom and sisters in law and brothers are preparing all the food so all I "had" to do was make the cupcakes with my birthday girls.
Today is day six after chemo. I'm still feeling nauseated and unwell but not down. I'll tell you what keeps me going... This. Being loved and supported and cared for by my friends and family and even complete strangers!
Our friends, the J.'s, came back from celebrating the Bar Mitzvah of their nephew with a tale to tell. They were praying at a synagogue in Carmiel, northern Israel, when they heard my name, Erika bat Chava Ehta, being called out during the blessing for healing of the sick. Our friends were curious who I knew up in the Carmiel so they went to find out what the connection was. It turns out that someone read my blog and decided to pray for me! Thank you for your prayers!